Gridlock

Image for GridlockNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 1 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

London's population has grown by a million in the last ten years. The city's roads are congested as eight out of ten journeys by Londoners are still travelled by road. This means that 25,000 Transport for London workers now face a daily battle to keep the busy capital moving. Every morning, 8,500 buses carry six million passengers - double the number carried by the underground. With 6,000 workers controlling the buses and the rest of the road traffic, 2,000 dedicated police officers work hard to keep the roads clear by attending to traffic incidents as quickly as possible, all while being overseen by the world's biggest traffic control centre which, unbeknownst to most of us, orchestrates our journeys every single day.

Filmed over the course of a year, this six-part series from the makers of the TV show The Tube, shares the story of the individuals who keep our transport system working. From the night bus drivers to the road menders, the programme follows their highs and lows and shines a light on our growing capital, as the city is expanding faster than ever.

The first episode reveals a city constantly on the verge of gridlock and follows the Transport for London staff who try to keep London moving.

At Blackwall Tunnel, the most crucial mile of road in the whole city, tow truck driver Sean has to deal with a pregnant motorist who cannot face driving through the tunnel alone. Meanwhile in the central control room, operator Chris has to cope with resolving multiple accidents blocking the roads on a single Friday night. On the ground, road mender Indra faces abuse about his pothole repairs. Finally, one typical rush hour morning, a helicopter crashes into a crane near a busy interchange. Can the roads team stop the city from grinding to a halt?

Credits

Narrator
Julian Barratt
Producer
David Hodgkinson
Producer
Frankie Fathers
Director
Frankie Fathers

Broadcasts

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