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London traffic to get worse before it gets better

NEWS

TRANSPORT PLANNERS this week warned that congestion in London will worsen before it gets better, despite the introduction of congestion charging.

Planners from London boroughs and leading consultants called for politicians to make it clear that transport choices in the capital over the next five years will be restricted, either by default or by design.

The warning was issued to deputy London mayor Nicky Gavron at a consultation seminar hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Representatives from the Greater London Authority and Transport for London joined over 70 engineers to debate the first draft of mayor Ken Livingstone's Spatial Development Strategy, to be published early next year.

The strategy assumes that over the next 15 years the capital's population will expand by 45,000 a year, linked to economic growth of 2.5% a year.

It also assumes that population growth will be accommodated by integrating land use, transport and economic development and increasing investment in public transport. The strategy highlights the need for high density, mixed use development.

The plans were greeted with scepticism by Transport Planning Society chairman David Bayliss, who claimed increased density and mixed land use on their own have a limited effect on travel habits. 'Land use policies need to be reinforced by car restraint policies, ' he said.

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