Getting active

London’s Congestion Charge is just one of many initiatives to improve traffic flow, including a new intelligent traffic management system.

A key policy of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy is to get people to stop driving cars and start using active or public transport. Since London’s Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003, 1,300 automatic number plate recognition cameras supplied by Siemens have been installed at around 300 sites to discourage unnecessary journeys by private car across the city center. The scheme was an immediate success, with 21% fewer vehicles traveling through London each day, and traffic jams reduced by 30%. Milan and Stockholm have since implemented similar programs.

Growth in journey stages on selected modes, (index: 2000 = 100)
Source: Transport for London City Planning, Strategic Analysis

Making central London a safer and more pleasant place to live, work, and visit includes active travel. This should help reduce delays to productivity for freight, and ensure emergency services can respond quickly. Yet congestion continues to rise. 

To tackle congestion, from 2020, London’s road users will also benefit from a new intelligent traffic management system developed by Siemens. Using a range of new data sources, the technology will employ an adaptive algorithm to manage up to 6,000 junctions across the city. Real time optimization will monitor traffic levels and automatically adjust traffic light timings to enable more users to flow across the capital’s road network with fewer delays. Data generated by the system can also be used to inform users about current or expected road conditions to support improved journey planning.

Hours spent in congestion per driver, in 2019
Source: INRIX

London in numbers


Reduction in vehicles traveling through the city after the introduction of the Congestion Charge

Source: Transport for London


Increase in cycling since 2000

Source: Transport for London


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