London traffic slows to 10.2mph

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The Independent Online
TRAFFIC in central London is travelling at its slowest rate since record-keeping began, according to the latest Department of Transport figures.

The average day-time traffic speed is 10.2mph in a central London zone that includes the West End and the City. Klaus Meyer, of the campaign group Transport 2000, said: 'We're back to the speed of the horse and carriage and things are just going to get worse until action is taken to get cars off the roads.'

Between 1986 and 1990, the transport department logged speeds in the central zone at an average of 11.5mph during the morning peak (7am-10am). The corresponding figure for the period between 1990 and now is 10.2mph.

When records were started in 1968, traffic was flowing at 12.7mph in the morning, 12.1mph during the day and 11.8mph during the evening peak (4pm-7pm).

Mr Meyer said that London was in dire need of a co-ordinated transport policy. 'At present the 32 London boroughs are left to their own devices.' In particular, better provision was required for buses. 'We're being offered 300 miles of red routes to ease traffic congestion, but only 20 of those 300 miles will have bus lanes.'

A spokeswoman for the transport department said that, although speeds had dropped in central London, they had increased in the broader area covered by inner London boroughs. Between 1986 and 1990, traffic speed in inner London had increased from 11.8mph to 13.3mph.

London Traffic Monitoring Report 1992; HMSO: 11.35

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