The Route Masters: Running London's Roads

Series 1 - 5. The Future

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

Here’s something to contemplate next time you’re stuck at the lights fuming at the awfulness of the London traffic. Hidden away in a secret location is a supercomputer that controls all the capital’s traffic lights and attached to it is a single yellow cable that communicates all traffic movement. Imagine the mayhem if somebody snipped it.

Despite fines for offences such as parking in bus lanes (five million penalty notices were issued last year) and campaigns to get on your bike and not into your car, the capital’s roads are often at a standstill.

“The only solution is to force the traffic to reduce,” says one policeman grimly. “There’s no carrot, only baseball bats now.”

About this programme

5/6. A look at initiatives to ease congestion on the city's roads by getting people to ditch their cars and use bikes or buses, including a police task force that been set up to encourage cycling. CCTV operative Graham watches out for vehicles sitting in yellow box junctions for too long, while Chas from the Roads Policing Unit stakes out a traffic blackspot that motorists are trying to escape from by taking short cuts across a grass verge.

Cast and crew


James Ross
James Ross
Series Producer
Simon Gilchrist