Turning off traffic lights would save millions, report claims

05/11/2014
Highways Reporters

Turning off traffic lights in London at night would slash vehicle emissions, wasted fuel, and journey delays – according to a report carried out by the Greater London Authority (GLA) Conservatives.

The report which is entitled ‘Green Light’, urges transport bosses and local authorities to assess road usage and traffic flow, and, where it is deemed safe, to turn off London’s traffic lights between midnight and 6am.¹

Switching off lights for the six-hour overnight period across 80% of the capital’s 2,532 relevant junctions would cut delays across the city by 2,251 hours every day – saving motorists £40m by 2020 in saved time and fuel.²

Author of the report, GLA Conservative transport spokesman, Richard Tracey said: “Every year Londoners waste over 170 million hours sitting in traffic, costing London’s economy £4 billion. Many of these journeys in our city are unavoidable. But rather than hurting motorists with ridiculous charges and taxes, we should look at innovative ways to cut congestion and make traffic flow more smoothly. Turning off traffic lights at night, like they do in parts of Europe and North America, is one measure which would boost the economy and help the environment. A common sense approach in the right places would cut idling and therefore vehicle emissions, motorists would save cash as less fuel is wasted, and journey times would be slashed meaning deliveries are completed quicker and cabbies are able to take on more jobs. Even if lights were turned off for just six hours overnight, accounting for non-suitable junctions, drivers could save £40m over four years in saved time and fuel alone.”
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