POLL: Should pedestrians be prioritised above motorists with new traffic light law?

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Transport for London (TfL), which is run by the Mayor of London, announced the plan yesterday by saying it will make London more “walkable” and help tackle growing levels of pollution in the capital. The 18 new signals will be set up in areas including Bishopsgate, Smithfield, Richmond and Tower Hamlets. It will mean the lights will change to green to allow cars only when traffic is detected, which is the opposite of how traffic lights usually work.

Social media users were quick to share their fury over the new plans.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Why change the current system which works perfectly well as it is?

“The roads of London have been ruined by all these new traffic management schemes, cycle super highways etc.”

Another added: “This is bonkers!”

Should pedestrians be prioritised above motorists with new traffic light law?

Should pedestrians be prioritised above motorists with new traffic light law? (Image: GETTY)

A third person also agreed as they simply wrote: “What a dreadful idea.”

Steve McNamara, the general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, also blasted the scheme as he warned London was a city that “needs to move around”.

He said: “London is a working city which needs to move around.

“All the traffic is working traffic

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“If you restrict the life blood of a city you get a coronary,”

However, Nick Owen, TfL’s head of network performance, praised the scheme for helping people “cut the number of car trips”.

He said: “We know that walking is a brilliant way for people to make local journeys, boosting activity levels while cutting the number of car trips and the associated congestion and pollution they can cause.

“We’re determined to make it easier for people to cross the road and to give people the space they need to walk safely, and these initiatives will make a difference in enabling more people to access local high streets, shops and other businesses in a sustainable way.”

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TfL announced the plan yesterday by saying it will make London more

TfL announced the plan yesterday by saying it will make London more “walkable” (Image: GETTY)

London’s walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman argued the traffic light signals aimed to prove walking “improves our mental and physical health.”

He said: “We know that safety is a key concern for people walking around London, and giving pedestrians priority is a powerful way of putting them first and making it easier to cross London’s roads.

“By combining this with creating extra pavement space and ensuring roadworks are carried out in a way that doesn’t disrupt Londoners, we will make our city the world’s most walkable and eradicate collisions on our streets.”

After being re-elected as mayor earlier this month, Mr Khan vowed to be “the greenest Mayor London has ever had”.

TfL data said 31 percent of Londoners are now walking to places instead of travelling by car

TfL data said 31 percent of Londoners are now walking to places instead of travelling by car (Image: GETTY)

He also highlighted his commitment to “put the environment and climate” at the forefront of his policies.

The new plans come after Mr Khan already faced backlash over his previous Streetspace Plan, which aimed to priories pedestrians and cyclists over motorists in the city.

A High Court judge ruled that the plan discriminated against elderly and disabled people who may struggle to walk or cycle and so need taxis to get around.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick was also recently criticised for police response time becoming slower to serious crimes.

The new plans come after Mr Khan already faced backlash over his previous Streetspace Plan

The new plans come after Mr Khan already faced backlash over his previous Streetspace Plan (Image: GETTY)

She responded that low traffic neighbourhoods were the reason behind delayed police response times as it was more difficult for her “frustrated” officers to “get through the streets”.

Meanwhile, recent TfL data said 31 percent of Londoners are now walking to places instead of travelling by car or public transport.

The data added that 57 percent of people who were asked also said they prefer to go on walks for exercise or just walk longer than they did previously.

A spokesman said: “The new traffic signals will further enable people to travel around the capital this way.”



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