Red route

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the A312 Uxbridge road marked with double red lines

The term red route has been separately adopted for two entirely different highway purposes within the United Kingdom.

Congestion reduction[edit]

In London, Leeds[1] and the county of West Midlands[2] in the United Kingdom, red routes are major roads on which vehicles are not permitted to stop, first introduced in north and east London in 1991.[3] The prohibition extends to stopping for loading or unloading, and to boarding or alighting from a vehicle (except for licensed taxis and the holders of blue badges).[4] Red routes are mainly used on major bus and commuting routes.[5]

Red routes are marked with red lines at the sides of the road. Double red lines mean that the regulations apply at all times and on all days. Single red lines means that the prohibition applies during times displayed on nearby signs or at the entry to the zone.[4] Red route clearways are signed but there are no lines on the road. Stopping is only permitted in lay-bys (red lines are only marked at junctions).[6]

The 580 km of red routes in London are policed by "Red Route Patrols" and managed by London Streets, an arm of Transport for London.[7]

A similar scheme operates in Edinburgh; here, however, the routes affected – being marked by the use of green road-surfacing rather than red lines – are known as "Greenways".

A number of hospitals in the United Kingdom have mimicked the red road lines, in and around ambulance dispatch and Accident and Emergency areas. These road markings are to allow ambulances and other emergency vehicles uninhibited access in and out of such areas; whilst these road markings are often respected by road users there is very little (if any) enforcement.

Accident reduction[edit]

In Somerset, the local road safety partnership has designated some of the A roads within the county as Red Routes, but in this case the term is used to indicate routes that have a higher than average accident rate.[8][9][10]

The term is similarly used to denote dangerous routes in Northamptonshire,[11][12][13] It is not clear that the scheme will be maintained following the closure of the Road Safety Partnership whose initiative it was.[14]

Lincolnshire has a similar scheme to the Northamptonshire one.[15][16]

The county of Cheshire, and therefore the town of Warrington also use the idea of Red Routes to designate roads with historically high accident rates.[17][18]

The former[19] Suffolk speed camera organisation chose the expression Red Route to denote routes where high levels of accidents justify the frequency use of mobile speed cameras.[20]

Leicestershire County Council have chosen not to implement a Red Route scheme, believing it can be misleading and arbitrary. They believe in identifying or solving individual danger spots instead.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Red Routes". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  3. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons (22 February 1999). "Memorandum by The Traffic Director for London (IT 160) - Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs - Minutes of Evidence". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Road markings" (PDF). Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Red Routes West Midlands". West Midlands Local Transport Plan. 2010. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Transport for London Understanding road signs". Transport for London. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Surface Transport". Transport for London. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  8. ^ "A37 Red Route leaflet" (PDF). Somerset Road Safety Partnership. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Safety measure for busy routes". This is Somerset (Western Gazette etc.). 30 May 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  10. ^ Hill, Phil (9 March 2009). "A361 red route exhibition". Somerset county gazette. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Red routes total rises". Northamptonshire Telegraph. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Accident blackspots on red route revealed". Northampton chronicle and Echo. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Danger road' A6 now a Red Route". Northamptonshire Telegraph. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Northamptonshire's road safety partnership disbands". BBC Northampton. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  15. ^ "RED ROUTES MARK 'DANGER' ROADS". Lincolnshire free press. 28 January 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Road safety group claims Red Route signs are 'effective' as casualty figures halve". Lincolnshire Echo. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  17. ^ Davies, Nicola Davies (14 February 2008). "Eleven roads have 'high risk of death'". This is Cheshire. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Red Routes". Warrington borough council. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Suffolk safecam is now closed". Suffolk county council. Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  20. ^ Focus on Safety (leaflet) (PDF). Suffolk Roadsafe Board. p. 2.
  21. ^ "Accident reduction and red routes" (PDF). Leicestershire county council. April 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013.

External links[edit]