Fallen tree blocks Essex Road for nearly four hours as Hurricane Gonzalo takes its toll on Islington

Fallen tree in Essex Road by Liz Buckley (@liz_buckley)

Fallen tree in Essex Road by Liz Buckley (@liz_buckley) - Credit: Archant

A fallen tree brought one of the borough’s busiest roads to a standstill in yesterday’s rush hour.

Strong winds from the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo caused the large trunk to block Essex Road near the junction with Annette Crescent at about 5pm, causing passengers to abandon busses with delays and diversions on five different routes.

The blockage also caused traffic chaos at Highbury Corner, and another three trees fell on the road with 10 in total across the borough.

Firefighters from two engines helped police divert traffic while Islington Council tree surgeons cleared the road.

The road was fully re-opened by 9pm and nobody was injured.

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Charlotte Eisenhart (@CEisenhart) tweeted at about 8pm “That was one massive tree that came down on Essex road. They’re still clearing it up.”

Commuters saw hours added to their journey – Kate Ogborn (@kateogborn) tweeted: “Whoever came up with tonight’s diversion around Essex Road doesn’t travel by bus. Been stuck on the bus for hours. Thanks #tfl.”

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Another Twitter user, Nicky Dean (@ns_dean), was impressed when passengers came together to help a bus driver adapt.

“Passengers on my 476 bus giving driver directions and directing traffic after reversing down road on Essex Road diversion. Great support,” he tweeted.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport said: “Our staff were out yesterday keeping Islington moving and minimising disruption from some of the stormiest weather to hit the borough since February.

“Our tree service were called to clear up 10 fallen trees - including the tree which fell on Essex Road.

“Street cleaners have been out as usual and so have recycling and waste collection services.

“There were no major service interruptions.”

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