If you come from Continental Europe, driving on the left side can be a challenge. The only thing to make things worse is the crazy traffic light tree in Canary Wharf. Iht has over 75 traffic lights on it. How do you stay on top of it? Small teaser – you don’t…

The Traffic Light Tree in Canary Wharf

The 8 m high Traffic Light Tree at Billingsgate Market (London’s fish market) is impressive. And confusing at the same time. There are over 75 lights working at the same time. Who is allowed to drive when? And on which lane? And which traffic light applies exactly to whom?
But don’t panic, the Traffic Light Tree is not a traffic light in use, but an object of art. And the road around it is a “normal” roundabout.

Why Traffic Light Art?

The special traffic light was created by the French artist Pierre Vivant and was initially installed at a different location in 1998. Since January 2014, the tree has been standing at this roundabout in Canary Wharf.
The artist is quoted on Wikipedia with “The Sculpture imitates the natural landscape of the adjacent London Plane Trees, while the changing pattern of the lights reveals and reflects the never ending rhythm of the surrounding domestic, financial and commercial activities”.
The tree stands in a place where a plane tree once stood before it died because of air pollution. The changing lights not only stand  for the constant changes in the financial world, but also for the restlessness of the Canary Wharf area in general.

How to get to London’s craziest traffic light?

  • The official address of the traffic light tree is: Traffic Light Tree, 5TG, Trafalgar Way, London E14 5TG
  • From Canary Wharf Tube Station it is just a 10 minute walk
  • Alternatively take the bus to Billingsgate Market and walk from here
  • The Traffic Light Tree is open around the clock and there is no entrance fee.

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