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London Chamber of Commerce warns a "dramatic rethink" is needed on London traffic

Rebecca Smith
The London Chamber warns the congestion charge may not be effective
The London Chamber warns the congestion charge may not be effective (Source: Getty)

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said a “dramatic rethink” is needed when it comes to London traffic and how it’s managed.

It has made recommendations in a submission to the London Assembly's Transport Committee congestion investigation, noting the capital was fast approaching "mega-city status". It also warned congestion measures previously introduced – such as the congestion charge – may not be as effective these days.

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The business group wants London’s leaders to regroup and has suggested some ideas to get the wheels in motion.

These include:

  • A reassessment into the cycle super highway scheme and exploration into semi-segregated cycle lanes during peak hours, rather than remaining part of the permanent infrastructure
  • Devolution of responsibility for commuter rail to TfL in order to ensure smoother running and prevent the need for replacement bus services
  • Maximising use of the river in moving goods and passengers around the city
  • Explore options for further consolidation of deliveries – as opposed to individual door-to-door services
  • Move as many business deliveries as possible from the 7am-11am morning peak – where freight vehicles account for 25 per cent of traffic & investigate night time slots
  • Look to build more fixed river crossings in east London as well as Silvertown Tunnel and the recent pedestrian/cycle bridge and DLR extension

LCCI's chief executive Colin Stanbridge said:

I recognise that some of these measures won't be immediately palatable to some groups. But we have made too many decisions because something seems like a nice idea, the easier route, or the most environmentally friendly idea without really thinking through the consequences.

While a number of initiatives, such as re-timing and consolidation, have an important role to play in reducing congestion, they can only provide part of the solution.

We need to be radical, to look at whether outdated rules still serve a purpose and to build infrastructure that isn't just a stop gap solution.