Turn left on red lights to fight traffic congestion, say Tories

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Indy Politics

Motorists could be permitted to turn left at red traffic lights under proposals dawn up by the Conservatives to cut Britain's traffic congestion.

They would be able to cross a red light and turn left if the road is clear under plans floated by John Redwood, the chairman of a party policy committee.

He suggested changing the sequence of lights to ensure traffic is not held up at junctions where all the lights are red.

The proposals published yesterday include bicycle lanes on pavements and more underpasses for pedestrians. Mr Redwood's economic competitiveness policy group also proposed more space for cars around roundabouts and reviewing speed limits to ease traffic flow at off-peak times. He said the ideas represented the sort of, "cheap short-term fixes that any sensible government should adopt".

But the RAC Foundation said many of the proposals were ill thought out. Kevin Delaney, from the foundation, warned that allowing motorists to turn left at red traffic lights could be dangerous, and said that other safety measures had already been put in place.

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, said: "On planet Redwood, the lights are always green. If the Tories are serious about tackling congestion, they should embrace road-user pricing schemes, not recycling failed gimmicks. This idea could conceivably worsen congestion."

A Conservative Party spokesman said the ideas did not represent party policy.