Motoring: Better red route than dead stop

London and traffic congestion go tog-ether like a horse and carriage. Even on a good day, motorists are likely to move about as fast as the horse-drawn Metropolis did a century ago (11 mph). Unless that is, you happen to be on a fast-flowing red route - those congestion miracle cures announced in January 1990.

A red route is designed to improve the movement of all traffic by providing no stopping zones, bus lanes and designated parking bays. The scheme was launched primarily as a pilot and affected only north and east London.

This sole red route runs for 7.8 miles, mainly along single carriageway with two lanes in each direction. It stretches along the A1 trunk road from Highgate to the Angel, then along the inner ring road to Shoreditch, ending with the A13 to Stepney.

In 1993, the Transport Research Laboratory published an extensive report on its effects: average journey times for motorists were down by 6

minutes to 20 minutes. Parking problems were answered with 620 new, free short-term spaces and l,200 stopping places in 200 marked bays. Bus lanes were increased from 2.9km to 5.02km, bringing an 8-minute improvement in journey times.

Cyclists benefited from four new crossing points, while pedestrians got 17 new crossing places. Accident casualties fell by 17 per cent since 1991.

Detailed local plans have now been completed for an additional 315-mile network ofred routes and the first will be implemented early next year. They include the A3 from the Greater London boundary to Roehampton Lane, then the A205 South Circular Road from Roehampton Lane along Upper Richmond Road and Clifford Avenue, to its junction with the A316 Lower Richmond Road and the A316 south-west to the borough boundary near Sunbury.

Not everyone is happy with red routes. There have been accusations that they are effectively mini-motorways which divide communities, are dangerous for pedestrians and kill off passing trade for small businesses.

Klaus Meyer, chairman of the National Council on Inland Transport and the London region of the pressure group Transport 2000, argues that the red routes should lead to the introduction of more bus lanes. Initial surveys show higher travel speeds, but a loss of trade.

'The crucial question is whether these higher speeds and flows will bring more private cars into central London.

Derek Turner, traffic director for London, said: 'When it comes to buses there is no argument. The pilot has been a great success, especially in view of a 2.6 per cent London-wide decline in bus use. He believes that by keeping traffic moving at a steady speed and drawing 'rat- runners out of residential side roads, there will be an improvement in pollution levels.

Businesses should also be helped by the provision of legal short-term parking where none existed, and goods delivery and pick-up is clearly permitted by the relevant boxes. Injuries to cyclists fell by 19 per cent in the first 18 months.

Mr Turner is also committed to providing cyclists with improved facilities at the 305 points where the cycle network and red routes cross. And additional traffic-calming measures give pedestrians priority over traffic joining the routes.

Double red lines mean no stopping at any time.

A single red line prohibits stopping, usually between 7am and 7pm, from Monday to Saturday. No stopping means halting for any reason other than an obstruction, other traffic, breakdown, or for safety reasons. Orange-badged cars can stop to pick up or drop the disabled.

On a red route, stopping is permitted in boxes marked on the road at the times indicated. Some may be for loading, or short-term free parking residents' bays, or cars displaying an orange disability badge. However, on boxes marked with red paint, stopping is allowed only at certain periods. Where stopping is possible at any time, including the restricted 7am to 7pm periods, these areas will be marked with white-painted boxes.

Illegal parking on red routes carries a higher penalty than other roads. The fixed penalty is pounds 40, enforced by both police and traffic wardens.

Until someone devises a more radical solution to

congestion, London motorists will be seeing red for some time to come.

(Photograph omitted)

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk