Archway traffic campaigners in last-ditch meeting with politicians over TfL plans

A group of campaigners are fighting TfL's plans for the bus network in Archway. Picture: Jenny Thomp

A group of campaigners are fighting TfL's plans for the bus network in Archway. Picture: Jenny Thompson - Credit: Archant

Campaigners continuing to fight traffic changes to Archway held a meeting with politicians this week to discuss their opposition.

A “key milestone” in Archway’s ongoing traffic saga will take place on Sunday with the introduction of two-way traffic.

But 90 people turned up to the Hargrave Community Centre on Monday night to have their say, particularly on the changes to bus routes and stops.

The meeting was chaired by regeneration writer Prof Loretta Lees, with a panel including London Assembly member Jennette Arnold, Green councillor Caroline Russell, Adrian Betham from the Better Archway Forum and John MacBryde from the Campaign for Better Transport.

Transport for London (TfL) reps and Islington’s transport boss Cllr Claudie Webbe were invited but did not attend.

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Better Archway Forum chair Kate Calvert said the meeting went very well. “There was an across the floor agreement that TfL’s approach was not to set any kind of precedent,” she said. “And an undertaking by Jennette Arnold to seek a round table meeting for Archway representatives with deputy mayor Val Shawcross.”

This weekend the road outside the Tube station will be closed while the gyratory is transformed to improve access to the town centre and create cycle paths.

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From Sunday, right turns from St John’s Way to Archway Road and Junction Road to Holloway Road will be banned and changes to bus routes will come in.

The one-way system along Vorley Road and MacDonald Road has also been reversed, to the anger of parents at the Archway Children’s Centre in Vorley Road, who feel it is an accident waiting to happen. Things were only made worse when TfL failed to advertise the change.

Anna Squires said: “TfL know full-well the nursery and parents consider the direction change dangerous. We have demonstrated on this issue, met with them, have a website and have a petition with well over a thousand signatures.

“Yet they don’t even put up signs to warn of a significant and potentially dangerous traffic reversal outside a nursery? We are extremely concerned a child could get hurt.”

Campaigners are angry TfL ignored popular opinion to drive through the changes to buses. A January consultation found 75 per cent of the 818 respondents were dead against the idea.

But TfL announced the work was going ahead with just days’ notice. The move could see 50 buses an hour turning in Archway Road and will force people to walk further to bus stops. The Charlotte Despard pub in Archway Road has already lost its loading bay as a result.

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