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All roads lead to London

All the roads covered by red lines and green signs in London are set to be detrunked on 3 July this year. This is when Transport for London - the new mayor's highways and traffic authority - becomes a legal entity.

TfL is set to become responsible for the Greater London Roads Network, 500km of principal routes inherited from the Highways Agency (two thirds) and the London boroughs (one third).

It will also ultimately bear responsibility for the London Underground, the Public Carriage Office (ie cabs), the Docklands Light Railway, Croydon Tramlink, river services and Victoria Coach Station.

Heavy rail will not come under its remit although it will be able to exert influence.

'It's a very exciting development,' says Richard Thorndike, a director of the Highways Agency who is a former divisional director with responsibility for London. 'For the first time, we will have one organisation accountable for virtually all transportation in the capital, providing integrated management and the real possibility of integrated transport.'

As well as taking over control of London's former trunk roads, TfL's roads unit will take on the responsibilities of the City Corporation's Traffic Controls System Unit and of the Traffic Director, with its red routes.

The TfL organisation is being built up, with recruitment under way. 'It is a real opportunity for staff to deliver a new kind of service, a great opportunity,' says Thorndike.

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