London boroughs save £1.8m on traffic signals maintenance

  • By London Councils

More than £1.8 million will be saved from the cost of maintaining traffic signals on London’s borough-controlled roads next year – a drop of 14.4 per cent.

The savings are the result of a retendering process which secured new contractors to carry out the maintenance work, cutting the cost to boroughs to £10,863,463.73 for 2015/16 – down 14.4 per cent from £12,688,395.73 in 2014/15.

Members of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Executive Sub-Committee today approved the budgets for the maintenance work, which is managed by Transport for London (TfL) on behalf of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London.

Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) said: “London is the home of traffic lights in the UK – the first electric lights were installed on Piccadilly in the mid-1920s – and they have saved thousands of lives.

“As public budgets face ongoing pressure these savings show London’s councils are committed to delivering essential public services while getting the best deal for the taxpayers.”


Notes to Editor: 

  • There are approximately 6,000 traffic lights in London.
  • Under the terms of the GLA Act 1999, Transport for London (TfL) recharges the London boroughs its reasonable costs of operation for traffic signals works on borough roads.
  • London Councils and borough officers meet regularly with TfL traffic signals officers at the Traffic Control Liaison Committee (TCLC). The committee discusses London-wide issues related to the work of traffic signals as well as proposed budgets, programmes and service levels. There is also an annual conference for all boroughs to discuss the latest projects and share best practice
  • Payments for traffic signals are calculated using a number of factors. For signals installed before 2005, costs are apportioned on population figures. For signals installed after 2005, costs are apportioned based on the actual number of aspects (i.e. a bulb or component in a traffic signal array). As such, removal of old signals and/or installation of new signals causes an increase to the proportion of costs paid by the borough in which the change takes place.