Transport for London (TfL), the mayor of London and Islington Council have announced that construction work will start this week on a major project to improve a junction with one of the poorest safety records in the UK capital.
The transformation of the Highbury Corner intersection will see the intimidating 1960s roundabout removed and replaced with two-way roads, with the installation of segregated cycle lanes on all three remaining sides of the roundabout. The improvements to the junction will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and all other road users, and the scheme will also create a new public space created for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The project at Highbury Corner is set to continue until late 2019, and the work at the roundabout will coincide with essential gas works taking place to help reduce further road closures, with TfL working closely with Cadent Gas to minimize disruption to local residents and businesses.
Last year, TfL named Highbury Corner as one of the capital’s worst junctions on its ‘Safer Junctions’ list. Using casualty figures, 73 London junctions with the worst safety records were identified and are being improved to make them safer for all road users. The Highbury Corner improvements as part of this scheme will be monitored to ensure that casualty levels reduce, and that lessons are learned to improve the future design and construction of projects.
The improvements to Highbury Corner include:
• Closing the western arm of the roundabout to create a public space, including the Highbury & Islington station forecourt and part of the arboretum (a green space at the center of the roundabout);
• Installing segregated cycle lanes on all three remaining sides of the roundabout;
• Introducing two-way traffic;
• Encouraging more walking with wider and ‘straight across’ pedestrian crossings, replacing the existing two-stage routes, making it easier to cross, and the addition of new Legible London signage to improve wayfinding;
• Providing local residents and visitors with more green space by partially opening the arboretum to public access, while protecting the most sensitive parts;
• Closing the southern section of Corsica Street to motor traffic and creating a continuous footway across the junction entrance to give pedestrians priority over traffic;
• Installing a shared pedestrian/cycle ‘toucan’ crossing across St Paul’s Road to allow two-way cycling to and from Corsica Street.
“Once complete, one of London’s most dangerous junctions will be transformed and will support the movement of more people by making walking, cycling and public transport easier and safer. The new junction layout will also safely open up a tranquil pocket of greenery in the middle of the city for all to enjoy,” explained Ben Plowden, TfL’s surface transport director of strategy and network development.
“There will be some disruption while the work is taking place, so Londoners are advised to plan ahead and leave more time for their journeys after the work starts.”