TfL - Network Management Act 2004

We are in a long and protracted argument with TfL about the need for a crossing at a busy junction in Richmond [see RCC website]

The most recent e-mail from them includes this:

"A toucan crossing was previously considered for this junction in 2008. However it was found that signalising the roundabout would cause severe delays to traffic on all arms of the roundabout and have an unacceptable affect on its capacity at this location, conflicting with TfL’s duties under the Network Management Act 2004.   

TfL has to manage competing demands for the allocation of roadspace on its network and needs to take all roads users into account. A reduction in capacity on this strategic corridor would result in a proportion of traffic seeking less suitable alternative routes and/or experiencing increased queuing."

Do TfL often use conflict with the Network Management Act 2004 as justification? Is it a correct interpretation of the Act and is the cyclist a second class citizen when trying to cross the road?

Does anyone know how they make these calculations?

I'm asking TfL how long a severe delay is, what acceptable and unacceptable capacity is and what increased queuing means.



  • By Jim at 8:45pm 6 July 2011

Nick, the issue of TfL's interpretation of the Network Management Act has been discussed a couple of times on the Cyclists in the City blog - see links below, including the comments.

That doesn't answer all your questions, obviously - TfL seem reluctant to say how they come to these judgements, which suggests it is not an entirely scientific process. 

Thx Jim,

those links are really helpful for writing letters to MP and MEP: I'll post any replies I get, particularly from TfL.


The use of the Network Management Act to block these proposals is, in my view, totally bogus.  TfL have been doing it for so long, as a matter of routine, that they have lost sight of what they really should be providing for us.

The same arguments are being used to justify the mess they are building at Blackfriars.

The Traffic Management Act guidance says that traffic flow considerations should not be used to overrule other transport priorities.  Such priorities might be road safety or policies to increase cycling.

TfL is currently consulting on its Network Operating Strategy, it seems that when they measure traffic they only count cars, vans and lorries. Cyclists and pedestrians only come into the analysis as an afterthought.

As I said last month, the government should tell highway authorities to stop trying to use the TMA to block safe routes for cyclists.


Just back from a site visit to the London Road roundabout with TfL staff.  No movement on their position that traffic flow is THE priority and TM Act 2004 is the justification. Traffic lights are considered an obstruction to flow and a causal factor of congestion so lights are bad hence the instruction "no net gain of signals": putting a signal in means taking another signal out, measured at Borough level I think.  Clear conflict between their interpretation of TMA2004 and the DfT Guidance that says other policies and objectives should be considered e.g. cycling targets in Mayor's Transport Strategy.  Appears to be a political issue now, to be argued over at the Assembly Elections.

Nick, Richmond CC         

  • By clneely at 11:48am 31 July 2011

Nick, who is your Assembly Member. Ask them to raise a Mayor's Question on the issue.

Find out via a Mayor's Question what percentage of journeys coming into LB of Richmond are 2 miles or less. Here in Lovely Lambeth we found it was over 40%. Apparently in LB Barnet it is up to 70%. Tfl use a figure of 50% in their traffic models which was the "evidence" for turning you down. If you got all those people walking and cycling no congestion. In the Netherlands people own more cars but walk and cycle short journeys.

There is a great report on TfL's website on the streets pages about the potential for cycling.

You probably wont win this battle but keep on fighting as more and more people are joining us, politicians, people in TfL eventually common sense will prevail.

Good luck

Clare Neely

Lambeth Cyclists & Coordinator LCC CPEC  Cycle (Land & Transport) Planning & (Highway) Engineering Campaign.

Thx Clare, will do

TfL have sent us Traffic Modelling Guidelines and Model Auditing Process

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