Gone in six seconds – complaints over pedestrian crossing time at Highbury Corner

PUBLISHED: 17:10 17 April 2019

Cllr Caroline Russell times the traffic lights around the roadworks at Highbury Corner. Picture: Polly Hancock

Cllr Caroline Russell times the traffic lights around the roadworks at Highbury Corner. Picture: Polly Hancock


Pedestrians are waiting for more than a minute at the new Highbury Corner crossing – then given just six seconds to get across the road.

Roadworks at Highbury Corner. Picture: Polly HancockRoadworks at Highbury Corner. Picture: Polly Hancock

The traffic-clogged Holloway Road intersection at Highbury and Islington station is often packed with people waiting to cross at rush hour, with many darting between oncoming cars to get to the station.

Last week the Gazette met Highbury East Green councillor and London Assembly Member Caroline Russell to observe the tricky dance pedestrians have to play.

Cllr Russell said: “Residents are completely exhausted with road works at Highbury Corner.

“TfL has done a good job of protecting people walking and cycling during the road works but it is worrying people have had to wait so long to cross the road at this busy junction.”

Cars, buses, cyclists and pedestrians at Highbury Corner. Picture: Polly HancockCars, buses, cyclists and pedestrians at Highbury Corner. Picture: Polly Hancock

Of all the crossings on the roundabout the busy Holloway Road intersection outside the station was the worst, clocking in at six seconds for the green man and an additional five seconds for the inter-green before the crossing switches to red.

Other wait times ranged from about 30 seconds at nearby St Paul's Road and Upper Street to 45 seconds at Canonbury Road.

Cllr Russell said: “The thing that makes a real difference for pedestrians is the time you have to wait from pushing the button, for the green light to come on for crossing.

“It feels as if the balance is wrong.

“Waiting a minute for six seconds of green crossing time followed by five seconds of blackout before the red signal returns at the crossing to the station feels unfair.

“Pedestrians are being left with scraps of time compared to cars and lorries.”

Repairs at the roundabout are nearing completion to switch traffic to a two-way operation over the Easter bank holiday weekend. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the autumn when the new public space, segregated cycle lanes and new crossings will all be up-and-running.

TfL engineers on site spoke about the work they are doing to use a new system with an algorithm prioritising traffic flow for cyclists and pedestrians.

The new system will measure the amount of pedestrians waiting and can extend the crossing time to accommodate that.

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