‘This is so clumsy that we’d rather you do nothing at all’: Damning verdict on Highbury Corner plans

Members of the Islington Society are concerned about TfL's plans for Highbury Corner. Picture: Ken M

Members of the Islington Society are concerned about TfL's plans for Highbury Corner. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

An Islington locals’ charity has launched a protest against plans to pedestrianise Highbury Corner.

Transport for London (TfL) announced the radical proposals, which would replace the current one-way roundabout outside Highbury & Islington station with public space, at the start of last month.

The rest of the road would become two-way, and TfL said the overall scheme would make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

But the Islington Society, which was founded in 1960 to “safeguard” the interests of people in the borough, emphatically rounded on the plans this week.

For decades, it has campaigned for the removal of the one-way system.

But chairman David Gibson said the new design was so “clumsy” that the society’s members would rather see the gyratory remain as it is now.

He said: “The new traffic system is very complicated, with four lanes for traffic and two for cyclists. We would like to see this simplified.

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“The principal effect is that it would be very slow. It’s a huge junction which negates the idea of being pedestrian and cycle friendly.

“We have been campaigning for the removal of the gyratory for decades, but we feel retaining it would be preferable to this clumsy and ill-considered proposal. We want a better design.”

Mr Gibson said the society is also worried about traffic “bleeding” into side roads and the potential loss of some green space in the central arborteum, which was planted to commemorate lives lost in the bombing of Compton Terrace in World War II.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, previously said: “Our proposed improvements would radically change this area from a traffic thoroughfare to a place to visit.

“It would help us deliver our aim of eradicating death and serious injury from London’s roads and encouraging more people to walk and cycle.”

A consultation is ongoing and people have until March 20 to have their say. Visit consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/highbury-corner-roundabout