Archway’s £12.6m makeover is finished after 18 months
- Credit: Archant
The £12.6million transformation of Archway town centre is finished after almost 18 months of work.
Transport for London (TfL) and Islington Council have worked to replace the one-way gyratory with a public square, cycle lanes and more pedestrian crossings.
It’s not been without its complications, and elements of the work have angered some local businesses and locals, but most seem happy with the new-look environment.
The town hall’s environment and transport boss Cllr Claudia Webbe has been central to the project. She thanked the people of Archway for their patience and support, adding: “The transformation was a historic and once in a lifetime opportunity to turn a traffic-dominated area into a better, more connected and pleasant environment for people. It goes to the heart of our commitment to improve opportunities for walking and cycling.
“As a result, we have also unlocked huge housing, business and employment opportunities in this part of Islington with better public transport links.”
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Separated, two-way cycle lanes by the Tube station and in Archway Road have been welcomed but the change in bus routes were less popular.
TfL snubbed popular opinion to push through changes that meant 50 buses an hour are now U-turning in Archway Road.
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Chris Sparks, landlord of The Charlotte Despard pub in the road, was so outraged by the move that after one crash between a turning bus and a motorcyclist he threatened to superglue his face to the road.
Transport bosses maintain the U-turning has been assessed thoroughly, and say the changes have made a real difference to walkers, cyclists and bus users.
Sadiq Khan’s transport boss, Val Shawcross, said: “These are the kind of improvements we want to see rolled out across all parts of London, allowing more people to cycle and walk, and improving quality of life for everyone.”
Nicholas Sanderson of charity Sustrans, which promotes walking and cycling, said: “What was an expanse of black tarmac with traffic whizzing through is now an open, public and accessible space for people. With green trees, places to socialise and safe routes to cycle through, it is a more vibrant and attractive place for the whole community.”