London Transport Data


Data about transport in London!

Traffic speeds and congestion by region

Last month the Department for Transport published new quarterly statistics on congestion on local authority ‘A’ roads, which include most motorways and carry about 80% of all traffic in England. The chart below shows trends in average speeds (and by implication, congestion) in each region during the equivalent quarter of each year back to 2008 (click for full size).

This illustrates a few points:

  • Congestion is much higher in London than in any other region, unsurprisingly.
  • However, London is the only region where congestion did not worsen between 2008 and 2010 (as shown by lower speeds).
  • However however, speeds increased and congestion fell in every region apart from London between 2011 and 2012.

To what extent this latter trend is due to transport policies or to factors such as different weather conditions or different economic fortunes is open to speculation.

Filed under: Data, DfT, Historic, Regions, Traffic

Live traffic speeds from Google Maps

Google Maps includes a ‘live traffic’ feature which apparently exploits crowdsourced data from GPS-enabled phones to estimate traffic speeds on main roads. There’s a screengrab (click to embiggen) of central London below, with the light colours indicating higher speeds. The coverage is a little patchy as it presumably depends on there being enough GPS-enabled phones moving around for it to work.

This isn’t really ‘data’ in the sense that we usually cover on this blog as it is proprietary and, thus far, not reusable. But you can see how the underlying database could be very useful for transport planning or road safety purposes.

Filed under: Commercial, Live, London, Traffic

Pedestrian Countdown Trial: Unpublished Appendices

The Pedestrian Countdown trial was conducted in 2010 for Transport for London by consultancy Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

The “blackout” phase used at pedestrian junctions where neither the green nor red man is showing was replaced by a “countdown” phase, where a timer counts down the seconds that pedestrians have to finish crossing the road.

A number of other changes were also made to signal timings, for both road traffic and pedestrians. The following is a summary:

Pedestrian phases



Green man




Pedestrian red


Total pedestrian time


Road traffic phases




– “Pedestrian red” is the grace period at the end of the pedestrian phase where the red man appears but road traffic signals are still red.

– “Blackout” is the period for pedestrians after the green man where there is no green or red man showing, and is the phase wholly replaced with Countdown.

Changes in time

We have composed the following graphs with data from the TRL Technical Appendices (see below), which show average changes to both pedestrians and road traffic timings across all sites:

Changes to pedestrian time

Changes to road traffic time

N.B. “After” in the pedestrian phase is the “After 1” trial, immediately after PcATS is installed. The appendices do not contain the figures for the tweaked “After 2” trial, three months later, though we are told the green time is the same. We can infer from the decreased green and increased red time that road traffic faces in the After 2 trial (compared to After 1) that either blackout/countdown or pedestrian red time (or both) is slightly increased.


Transport for London published a summary report following the trial:

Pedestrian Countdown Project Report

It contains several unpublished appendices which we have obtained through Freedom of Information request and publish here for your perusal.

PCaTS Technical Appendices

Appendix A – Site Maps

Appendix B – Questionnaires

Appendix C – Additional Video  and Observation Data

Appendix D – Glossary of Terms

Filed under: 2010, Report, Safety, TfL, Traffic

Trends in motor vehicle traffic in London

The Department for Transport published new estimates of motor vehicle traffic yesterday, covering the years up to 2010 and quarters up to Q1 2011. There are a range of accompanying data tables but we have picked out a few trends specific to London. All the charts below show indexed annual trends, with 1993 set to 100.

Traffic in London and England
Overall motor vehicle has fallen for three years in a row in both London and England as a whole, but in London this was preceded by a nine-year stretch of basically flat traffic levels, while traffic continued to grow quite strongly in England as a whole.

Traffic in Inner and Outer London
Within London there has been a clear divergence in the traffic trend between Inner and Outer London. Between 1999 and 2007 traffic grew slightly in Outer London and fell slightly in Inner London, while since 2007 traffic has fallen in both areas, but faster in the inner city.

Car vs non-car motor vehicle traffic in London
Car traffic in London as a whole has been falling since 2002, while non-car motorised traffic continued growing strongly until 2007, from which point it has dropped sharply in the last three years.

You can download the data for the charts in CSV format here.

Filed under: Data, DfT, England, Historic, London, Traffic,