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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
i100
Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Project Manager

    Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album