A new report suggests that, where it is deemed safe to do so, TfL and London’s Boroughs should turn off traffic lights across the capital between midnight and 6am.
The report, ‘Green Light: turning off London’s traffic lights at night’, is authored by Richard Tracey, transport spokesman for Greater London Authority (GLA) Conservatives.
However the London Assembly Labour Group says the suggestion is ‘reckless’ and would turn London’s roads into ‘after-dark death-traps’.
The report also says that TfL should, as a pilot, turn off traffic lights at 100 junctions during daytime off-peak hours. It also encourages London’s Boroughs to look for opportunities to do the same.
The report says: “Obviously not every junction could be turned off at night. Each junction will need to be assessed and those with very high night-time volumes of traffic, or other safety concerns, would not fit the criteria for this system.
“Nevertheless many of the junctions across London would be suited and this could help save millions of pounds of people’s time, but also fuel, emissions, and other operating costs. If even 80% of these junctions were suitable then savings of £10m a year could be made across London.”
Responding to the report on the LocalGov website, London Assembly Labour Group transport spokesperson, Val Shawcross, said: “London is a 24-hour city and many routes remain busy throughout the night. The idea that just because it’s not the middle of the day we should turn off traffic lights just to save a few pounds is utterly reckless.
“Only three years ago a Government report found that in other countries where this has been trialled accidents have tripled. Given the dangers faced on London’s streets as it is, this proposal risks making after-dark death-traps of our roads.”