Red route 'has eased traffic flow'

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THE PILOT scheme for the 'red route' plan to improve London's traffic flow on key routes has drastically cut journey times and improved the reliability of bus services, Derek Turner, the Traffic Director for London, said yesterday, writes Christian Wolmar.

He said that both bus and car journeys had become a third faster at peak times on the A1 red route since the introduction of these routes in January 1991. Mr Turner also said that there were an extra 8.8 per cent passengers on the main bus route using the road which runs from the Angel, Islington, to Highgate.

Road accidents on the pilot route had been cut by 17 per cent, compared with 7 per cent in the boroughs covered by the route.

Mr Turner was speaking after yesterday's launch of the consultation document for the 315-mile network of red routes planned for London at a cost of pounds 100m and due to be introduced between 1994 and 1997. Many London boroughs say the routes will mean sharp loss of business for shops.

But Mr Turner said: 'There is no proof that shopkeepers lose out because of red routes. Many have suffered because of the recession, not the red routes.' He said that the pilot red route created 600 parking spaces.

Despite the opposition of local authorities to the plans, the task of drawing up local plans for the implementation of the network has been entrusted to them.