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Traffic Light Tree | Hidden Gem in London

Updated: Jan 3

The Traffic Light Tree is a teen driver's worst nightmare. Just outside the main gate to Bilingsgate Market, there is a traffic island where you can find this traffic light mutation.

Image of Traffic Light Tree in London

The eight-meter-tall stoplight, which was created in 1998 by French sculptor Pierre Vivant, was first put in place where a plane tree had once stood but had since perished due to air pollution.

Its morphing patterns are meant to capture the "never-ending rhythm of the surrounding domestic, financial, and commercial activities. The original plan was to have the London Stock Exchange's activity start the lights, but it was abandoned because it would have been too expensive to implement.

Nice modern and unexpected touch to the Canary Wharf entrance, (almost camouflages itself in the summer too) just would love to have it located at a more walking friendly location though. – Google Review

The tall "Traffic Light Tree" switches its 75 sets of lights in a random order, much to the bewilderment of unprepared motorists. The roundabout containing the "Tree" was in fact ranked highly when Saga Motor Insurance polled British drivers in 2005 about the best and worst roundabouts in the nation.

Things to know before visiting Traffic Light Tree

  • The sculpture is usually lit during the day.

  • We recommend visiting and checking the Traffic Light Tree when you are on foot, rather than whilst driving.

Image of Traffic Light Tree in London
Photo taken by @3190m via Instagram.

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