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Notorious 60s relic to get major makeover

Town planners are increasingly acknowledging that many high-speed one-way systems created in the sixties were bad designs, turning town centres into huge roundabouts hostile to people and with a negative effect on businesses. The latest to come under the spotlight is London's Archway gyratory, for which Transport for London has just published plans for a revamp.

The proposed restructure will provide segregated cycle routes and new public space in what Tfl is calling a "radical redesign".

The plans have been drawn up by TfL and Islington Council as part of TfL's £4 billion Road Modernisation Plan.

The new layout, which started consultation today, would see the out of date gyratory replaced with two-way traffic lanes around three sides of the central island. The fourth side would be closed off to traffic, creating a new, open public space at the heart of the town. Segregated cycle lanes, including a two-way cycle route past the station and improved pedestrian crossings would also be introduced, creating safer and direct routes through the area.

The new public space outside Archway Tube station would make it easier for people to access local businesses and help create an improved, more accessible town centre that would help attract further investment into the area, according to TfL.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, construction could begin as early as 2016 and fully delivered during 2017.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The Archway gyratory is a notorious, badly designed relic of the 1960s, which residents, businesses and road users have long wanted overhauled. We have worked closely with Islington Council on these plans and with segregated cycle lanes and improved pedestrian crossings this ambitious scheme is set to give Archway the facelift it deserves.”

Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL, said: “The Archway gyratory has been the bane of drivers, cyclists and bus passengers for many years. This scheme would bring the antiquated road layout into the 21st Century, creating a new public space to benefit local residents and businesses, as well as make it easier and safer for people to travel through the area.”

Details of the plans are available on TfL's consultation site.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

7 comments

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kie7077 [930 posts] 3 years ago
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Nice to see the area getting a revamp, it was like a bit of motorway / pedestrian no-go zone.

I haven't cycled around there a lot but I do remember the cycle north-west from Holloway Road was unpleasant to cycle, cyclists not taking primary and all that.

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Initialised [324 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks like a significant improvement but the cycle lane should be two lanes wide, not just one. I haven't lived around there for years, when I did I tended to avoid riding through it.

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belgravedave [274 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks like the square will be skateboarder heaven, which is great for cyclists as it gives the locals something else to moan about.
Town planners please keep up the good work.

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JimKillock [15 posts] 3 years ago
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It's so-so; a lot of cyclists here go up or down Junction Road. If you need to turn into Junction Road from most directions (Archway Road, St Johns Road) you have to cross traffic and ignore the new cycle lanes.

To turn right from Junction Road onto Holloway Road, you in fact have to turn left and follow round the whole of old gyratory, but you do get to use nearly all the new cycle lanes and about four crossings! I think a lot of cyclists would try to do some kind of dodgy manoeuvres in order to avoid what would feel quite a silly route.

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P3t3 [414 posts] 3 years ago
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JimKillock wrote:

It's so-so; a lot of cyclists here go up or down Junction Road. If you need to turn into Junction Road from most directions (Archway Road, St Johns Road) you have to cross traffic and ignore the new cycle lanes.

I pointed that out in the consultation - they can solve it with the same idea already on the plans at the top of archway (looks like the cycle path on the left will have its own signals for a right turn, or i assume that is the case). The more people that point this out the better.

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matthewn5 [1069 posts] 3 years ago
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Its a start, but still needs refinement. Too many places where pedestrians have to cross in 3 phases. Have sent in my comments.

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andrejserafim [10 posts] 3 years ago
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I cycle here twice a day. The junction isn't straightforward, so well done on changing it. Left my comments along the same lines - cyclists are the most volumous and fastest vehicles here during the peak. It makes sense to design for that.