The LTDA welcomes the Transport Committee’s investigation into traffic congestion in London, which is one of the most critical issues facing the capital and the current administration in City Hall. As Deputy Mayor for Transport Val Shawcross rightly said: London is in the midst of a “congestion crisis”; a crisis because of the spiralling number of private hire vehicles (PHVs), decreasing road supply and an increase in the number of light goods vehicles.
The resulting gridlock not only affects traffic flow in the capital – adversely affecting both commercial enterprises and non-commercial road users – but also makes roads less safe and exacerbates London’s already-poor air pollution problem.
The Mayor’s office – via TfL – is responsible for managing traffic flow and the negative side effects associated with congestion. For the sake of all Londoners, it must use the tools at its disposal to do so. In particular, TfL must update the Congestion-Charge – a mechanism that was introduced specifically to control traffic – to incentivise good behaviour and counteract the current causes of congestion in central London.
TfL should also seek to gain more powers from central Government to ensure that it can effectively carry out its regulatory duties; above all, TfL should have the power to place a limit on the number of PHVs in London.
The LTDA has outlined its views on congestion – its causes and its remedies – in the following responses.