IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Highbury Corner plan disastrous

08 June, 2018

Artist’s impression of how Highbury Corner will look when finished in 2019

• NATHAN Coffey contends that the votes following the “widely-publicised public consultations” provide sufficient reason for proceeding with the Highbury Corner proposals, regardless of the consequences, (Public supports axing gyratory, June 1).

However, public consultation can be a misleading process unless a very detailed case is offered to those consulted. I was one of those people who “voted resoundingly to close one side of the roundabout”, but I changed my mind once I fully appreciated the consequences of implementing the current proposals.

Transport for London’s aims – improving the environment for users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists – are entirely desirable, but the current proposals would have the reverse effect.

The detailed scheme finally presented by TfL only a few months ago shows:

• New traffic lights at the junctions with Canonbury Road and St Paul’s Road, the latter requiring at least three phases, in addition to the light-controlled pedestrian crossings at the top end of Upper Street and the bottom of Holloway Road.

This will require a lot of stopping and starting and TfL has calculated that traffic will take significantly longer to negotiate Highbury Corner; it would be illuminating to see these calculations.

• Segregated cycle lanes will be complicated and probably unworkable, requiring cyclists to stop and start constantly and to turn impossibly sharp angles at each intersection.

Those travelling north will be able to take a shortcut through the pedestrian-only western arm and those travelling south, if they don’t do likewise, will probably avoid the sharp angles by keeping to the road, leaving the hugely expensive and space-consuming cycle lanes all but empty.

The consequence will be traffic backing up, resulting in an increase in toxic fumes with levels of pollution exceeding, by an even greater extent than at present, the legal limits set by the EU, not to mention the even more stringent recommendations of the World Health Organisation.

This will affect the whole community: pedestrians, cyclists, passengers, drivers, residents, shop and pub workers and the 1,490 children in the three nearby primary schools, together with their teachers and support staff.

Sadiq Khan has inherited these proposals from former administrations, but if implemented they would make a mockery of his pledge to reduce pollution. Further thought is needed from TfL and Islington Council before such a disastrous plan is implemented.

ROGER MEARS
Compton Terrace, N1

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