U is for Urban Congestion

London suffers the worst traffic congestion in the UK and amongst the worst in Europe. Drivers in central London used to spend 50% of their time in queues and lost 3 million pounds every week in wasted time caused by congestion. Several measures have been taken to solve this problem:

  • Red Routes are streets marked with various lines and signage that regulate loading, unloading, parking and passenger pickup.
    • Double red lines along the edge of the street mean stopping isn’t allowed at any time for any reason
    • Single red lines allows for parking, loading or pickup of passengers only on off-peak times (after 7 pm or before 7 am, and Sundays)
    • Red Boxes indicate parking or loading permitted at off-peak times, which are shown on the sign
    • White boxes indicate parking or loading may be allowed at any time, with certain restrictions noted on the sign.
    • Red Route clearways are areas where there are no road markings but clearway signs indicate that stopping isn’t allowed at any time except at marked lay-bys.
  • A Congestion Charging Scheme is in place where you must pay to drive in London during peak hours. Even the residents are not exempt, though they do get a lower rate to pay. It is all done via cameras and online, so there is no getting away with it! As you enter and exit a congestion zone, your photo is taken. At midnight, images of all the vehicles that have been in the charging zone are checked against the vehicle registration numbers of those that have paid the fee. If you should have paid but haven’t, a penalty charge notice is mailed to the registered owner. 
  • Transport Strategy is an overarching scheme to make public transportation more readily available, affordable, reliable and efficient.

So, take the Tube and Mind the Gap!




About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Mission, Synchronicity, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to U is for Urban Congestion

  1. Dahlia says:

    Gosh, I am never ever going to drive in Britain for sure!

  2. London has a really great public transport system, although I’m not sure what I’d prefer, the tube at rush hour, or being stuck in my own car with air conditioning! 🙂 I live in rural Kent, so I have only ever tried rush hour in London a couple of times – never, ever again! ;P
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

  3. monti7 says:

    Since it’s the wrong side of the road for driving for us, I wouldn’t dare attempt it. Interesting to know.
    Mary Montague Sikes
    Notes Along the Way
    The Artful Way

  4. A J says:

    With such an extensive rail network, I’d take the tube to work all the time too! But when there’s a strike on any of the lines, that’s when your schedule will be out of whack LOL

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