Better Red Than Dead

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 121 months ago
Better Red Than Dead

It may sound like a stage direction from Star Trek: The Musical, but plans to "rephase" London's traffic lights have been unveiled by transport czars. In the days following his election in May, Boris Johnson demanded an improvement to traffic flow, and transport commish Peter Hendy has authored a report that finds adding a mere two seconds onto each cycle of traffic lights could drastically reduce congestion. The adjustments are already underway, and around 150 sets of lights have been changed since July. Motoring organisations seem pleased as punch, particularly as they're taking the news as the nail in perfidious Ken's supposed anti-car coffin.

Additionally, cyclists will be allowed to use bus lanes from next year, while they will also be permitted to turn left on a red. Though seeing as most pedal pushers press on through traffic lights no matter what their colour, how will we tell the difference?

Absent from all this good cheer is any mention of that humble bipedal ambulator, the pedestrian - you know, flat footed, wearing battered Converse or ballet shoes, tends to get mangled on the bull bars of an SUV, that sort of thing. Boris hasn't exactly endeared himself to the average ped - a plan to pedestrianise Parliament Square was abandoned by the mayor, while the scramble crossing for Oxford Circus remains a pipe dream. According to Hendy, the rephased lights won't affect pedestrians, but then he would say that. TfL's motorist-friendly regime may please the road rage prone, but will it make the City easier to navigate? We're about to find out.

Image by junketz via the Londonist Flickrpool

Last Updated 17 October 2008