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Highbury Corner: we seem to be nowhere near a sensible solution

01 June, 2018

• THIS Highbury Corner proposal has now been going on for about 12 years and we seem to be nowhere near a sensible solution (shades of Brexit!).

The first the general public knew about the proposed options was information about an exhibition at Baalbec Road in December 2007.

A letter in the Tribune from Jeremy Lawson (December 14, 2007) proposed closing the southern side of the roundabout, an option that was not considered in the Improving Highbury Corner booklet.

There is a pretty artist’s picture in the Concepts page showing a new Highbury Corner with one bus, one car, one cyclist, about 20 smartly-dressed people, including one in a wheelchair, lovely trees, tables and chairs, with an umbrella and wide open spaces. (Did the artist work for a Spanish hotel in a previous existence?)

I still can’t work out from which angle he was working from, or was it just a pipedream?

I sent an email to Transport for London in November saying proposals A and B were not viable and got a reply in mid-January saying they had considered the south-side closure but decided against it, one reason being that the bus stops would be too far from the station and some would be in locations where passengers might feel isolated (in Islington?).

Strangely enough, even in this day and age people manage to walk all the way from the station to the bus stop outside the Highbury courts.

As regards opening up the green space to the public, to see the results of continual footfall all you have to do is to look at Highbury Fields. There is a track from one corner by the swimming baths to Ronalds Road/Highbury Crescent.

Proposal A suggested closing the west side to general traffic, but allowing northbound buses and taxis, and cyclists from either direction; B was closing the north side to general traffic, but open to eastbound buses, taxis and cyclists from either direction; C was doing not much at all.

Since then the amount of pedestrian traffic has vastly increased, particularly with the introduction of the East London line, and the longer and more frequent North London line trains. TfL says that in its consultations, option A was the most popular, but is it right?



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