Traffic management schemes are used in many areas of London to reduce congestion, create a better environment and improve road safety. These schemes include, for example, one-way streets, bus lanes, facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and traffic calming measures (such as road humps to slow traffic in residential areas). London has shopping precincts which are designed for the convenience of pedestrians and from which motor vehicles are excluded for all or part of the day. Controls over on-street parking are enforced through excess charges and fixed penalties, supported where appropriate by powers to remove vehicles. In parts of central London the use of wheel clamping to immobilize illegally parked vehicles has also been authorized.
Computerized urban traffic control systems developed by the Department of Transport and British firms have achived international repute and are the most commonly used in the world. A recent enhancement, which continuously measures and responds to the flow of traffic, is being introduced into the majority of urban traffic control schemes.
Electronic driver information systems, which assist drivers through visual displays in their vehicles, are being developed. A pilot scheme using one such system called “Autoguide”, was planned in the London area in 1992. Autoguide uses roadside beacons to transmit to appropriately equipped vehicles route information which can be updated continuously to take account of changing traffic conditions.