Much-maligned Archway roundabout finally consigned to rubbish bin

A computer simulated image of the view north from Archway if the gyratory is removed

A computer simulated image of the view north from Archway if the gyratory is removed - Credit: Archant

The much-maligned Archway Gyratory could finally be consigned to the history books after the estimated £8million needed to get rid of it has been pledged by city hall.

View north from Holloway Road after the gyratory is removed. The northern tip of Holloway Road (left

View north from Holloway Road after the gyratory is removed. The northern tip of Holloway Road (left) and the bottom of Highgate Hill, which it leads into, would be narrow and only allow bus and bike traffic. Sandridge Street (left) would become two-way. - Credit: Archant

It’s thought Transport for London (TfL) have finally agreed to stump up the cash to rip up the roundabout at the top of Holloway Road by May 2016 at the latest after a row that rumbled on for years.

As early as 2010, Islington Council’s ruling Labour group promised the gyratory would be scrapped – but no one could agree who should foot the bill.

Now the area looks set to benefit from a two way system and better pedestrian links – particularly onto the isolated Archway island in the middle of the roundabout.

Cllr Lorraine Constantinou, who represents Hillrise ward which borders the gyratory, said: “It’s great to think that we might finally see the back of the Archway gyratory.

“After years of dithering and blame games between the council and TfL, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

“The devil will be in the detail though. We don’t want to just see the council roll over and agree plans that push traffic on to other local streets.”

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Cllr Andy Hull, Islington Council’s executive member for transport said nothing would happen until people in the area have been asked their opinion on changes.

He said: “Nothing will go forward without extensive consultation – we will talk to residents.

“But it does seem the pace of project is picking up.

“Funding is no longer an obstacle thanks to tenacious lobbying from us. TfL may have found the money. We have been pushing for some time and now it’s moving on more quickly.”

The reviled roundabout was built in 1969 as part of an ambitious project to improve traffic on the A1 – including making Highgate Hill northbound only and Archway Road southbound only – which never saw the light of day.

Kate Calvert, chairman of the Better Archway Forum, said: “Delighted would be a good summary of how I feel. There have been people campaigning for 20 years for this to be removed.

“It will make such a difference, particularly to the island, which has been so damaged.

“It’s brilliant news.”

Carl Quilliam, who lives in nearby Whitehall Park, said: “The gyratory divides our community, deters people from coming to Archway and is dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Having motorway levels of traffic racing through the area also has a massive impact on local air quality.

“So it’s a huge relief that an end may be in sight.”

A TfL spokesman said: “As part of our work to reconnect communities and provide an improved shared road space for all users including pedestrians and cyclists, we are working with stakeholders to review the Archway gyratory system. The findings will enable an informed discussion about the options for the gyratory system’s future.”

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