Traffic lights in some parts of London set to remain on red to prioritise pedestrians

28 May 2021, 08:24

Lights in some parts of London will default to red for motorists
Lights in some parts of London will default to red for motorists. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Traffic lights in some parts of London will be set to stay on red for motorists to give pedestrians priority as part of a new scheme.

Under the plans from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, some pedestrian crossings will default to stay on the green man setting to allow pedestrians to cross. The plan is designed to make London more "walkable."

Eighteen signals in parts of the capital will be changed only to allow cars through if and when traffic is detected in a reversal of the way the lights usually operate.

The move is likely to anger motorists. The Mayor has already caused controversy with the introduction of "low traffic neighbourhoods" or LTNs, which Met Chief Cressida Dick has criticised for slowing police response times to serious crimes.

The new traffic light system will be introduced in areas including Bishopsgate, Smithfield, Richmond and Tower Hamlets. Seven sites have been converted already and a further 11 more are planned.

Nick Owen, TfL's head of network performance, said: “We know that walking is a brilliant way for people to make local journeys, boosting activity levels while cutting the number of car trips and the associated congestion and pollution they can cause.

“We're determined to make it easier for people to cross the road and to give people the space they need to walk safely, and these initiatives will make a difference in enabling more people to access local high streets, shops and other businesses in a sustainable way.”