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The new layout, which started consultation today, would see the out of date gyratory replaced with two-way traffic lanes around three sides of the central island.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.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.