Steve Kearns, Transport for London, Clare Cheriyan,


The paper describes action taken by Transport for London to meet challenges posed in a rapidly growing city, lessons learnt from 2012 Olympics, projects to encourage sustainable travel and the change in message being given to London’s travellers.


London sees itself as a world city attracting vast numbers of people wishing to use its transport systems for a wide variety of reasons. The city faces significant transport challenges as a result of its growing population - currently at highest level ever of 8.6 million and forecast to rise to 10 million by 2030. There has also been a discernible change in traffic and travel patterns since the start of the economic recession in 2008 as part time working becomes more prevalent. The scale of the city is such that it not only experiences traditional radial movements to and from the Central Business District at peak times, it also has to accommodate the demand for a complex pattern of orbital movements between outer areas and expanding demand for 24 hour public transport provision.

The city is used to managing very large flows of transport across a wide range of modes but the ever growing population and change in journey patterns, have necessitated Transport for London initiating a progamme to increase capacity on the public transport network, through a range of infrastructure, track, rolling stock, signalling and station upgrades on the tube network; acquisition, upgrading and modernisation of suburban rail services; intensification of the bus network complemented by the introduction of innovative cycling and pedestrian projects and usage of new technology to manage demand for road traffic.

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games saw record numbers of people using travelling in the city and Transport for London introduced a range of measures to facilitate movement during the Games. This paper also focuses on the lessons that Transport for London learnt from the 2012 Games and describes how the Games influenced on-going traffic and transport policy, specifically through the subsequent introduction of measures to increase travel by sustainable modes.

The paper concludes with a subtle change in the message that Transport for London is giving to people who visit, live and work in London. It is no longer acceptable simply to encourage usage of public transport and discourage car usage. In the same way as some 20-30 years ago transport planners in London were encouraging car owners to be selective as and when they used their vehicles, we are now applying that same message to public transport as capacity constraints on bus, tube and rail networks continue to increase. The wider message now asks people to look at their lifestyle and consider how they can modify it to be as sustainable as possible.


Association for European Transport