Traffic in capital slows to 10.2mph

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The Independent Online
TRAFFIC in central London is moving more slowly than ever, averaging just over 10mph during both the evening and morning rush hours.

The speed of traffic in central London has declined since 1988 when it travelled at an average of just over 12mph, despite a reduction in the number of commuter cars from 160,000 to 155,000. This is the slowest since traffic surveys were begun in 1968.

The figures show that traffic moves slowest in the morning rush hour (10.2mph) compared with 10.3mph for the evening peak. Even during the daytime off-peak period, the average speed is 10.5mph, a reduction of 0.5 mph since 1988. The statistics, issued in a bulletin by the Department of Transport yesterday, take account of routine forms of disruption such as road works and accidents but bomb scares and explosions have been discounted.

By contrast there has been a slight rise in speeds in the rest of inner London (outside central London) where traffic now moves at an average of 13.25mph in the two peak times, compared with 11.7mph four years ago.

This is explained by the recession - there are fewer cars and less disruption caused by building sites and the transport of materials.

Transport Statistics Report, Traffic speeds in Inner London and on Strategic London roads: 1992, HMSO, pounds 15.