TfL silence on Highbury Corner overhaul is ‘really weird behaviour’

An artist's impression of Highbury Corner with the west side outside the station pedestrianised. Pic

An artist's impression of Highbury Corner with the west side outside the station pedestrianised. Picture: Transport for London - Credit: Archant

“Something weird” is delaying the Highbury Corner overhaul.

That’s the view of Highbury East Cllr Caroline Russell, as Transport for London (TfL) continues to drag its heels over responding to a public consultation. The document was due in January.

She speculated TfL could be trying to make its plans “less controversial” to motorists.

The Highbury Corner overhaul is one of the most important road projects in Islington’s history. TfL’s proposal is to bin the one-way system and pedestrianise the area by the Tube.

It’s aimed at making the Corner “more pleasant and accessible” for pedestrians and cyclists – though it could further increase journey times for motorists and buses at rush hour.

There are two options on the table. Cllr Russell said TfL reps were meant to turn up at a Highbury East ward community meeting to discuss them in November.

The reps cancelled, and promised to turn up at the next meeting, which took place on Tuesday last week. But again, they cancelled.

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Cllr Russell, a staunch cycle campaigner, told the Gazette: “I suspect TfL is worried the plans are going to be controversial. They might be working on making it less controversial to people who drive. Something weird is going on.

“If they’ve made significant changes they owe people the chance to have their say.

“At the moment, they are not including people in the conversation. This was the second ward meeting they’ve not turned up to. It’s bizarre – really weird behaviour.”

A TfL spokesman wouldn’t say why the consultation results haven’t been published yet, but promised: “We are finalising the results of the consultation report and will be publishing it in due course.”

As of February 13, 2,823 people had responded to the consultation. Of these, 71 per cent believe it would improve Highbury Corner for pedestrians, and 67pc for cyclists. 35pc say it would make conditions worse for motorists.

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