London's Archway gyratory redesign to include space for cycling

The gyratory junction in North London is to be removed, and the redesign will include segregated cycle paths

Photo: David Howard / CC by 2.0

Ambitious plans were released for consultation this week which show that another gyratory system in London will be removed, and segregated cycle route introduced.

The scheme, proposed by Transport for London (TfL) and Islington Council, will see Archway's four lane gyratory replaced with two way traffic lanes on three sides, the fourth side closed to traffic, creating a new public space and two-way cycle route outside the tube station.

According to TfL work could start in 2016 and be completed in 2017. This follows last week's report of a similar scheme in Wandsworth.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, described the gyratory as “a notorious, badly designed relic of the 1960s,” while 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.”

The gyratory, which TfL calls "out of date", has been slated for removal by every party in local elections for years. In 2010 local campaigners said a cycle superhighway was proposed through the junction, but planners felt it was too dangerous and changed the plans.

Businesses in the centre of the Achway gyratory are currently an island in a sea of traffic, and its removal is intended to make the town centre a better place for those on bikes and foot, and change the way people move through the area.

TfL says benefits of the proposed designs include improved access for pedestrians, a dedicated route for cyclists, a safer road layout for those driving, as well as better access for tube users to the shops. They believe this will help attract investment into the area.

Although the plans are a vast improvement on the current road layout, some routes for those cycling remain convoluted. Approaching the route from Holloway Road to the South cyclists will bypass buses on the inside, leading directly onto the new square, though doing the journey in reverse, from the station they will have to navigate three crossings via pavements to reach Holloway Road and designs don't show whether or not they will have to dismount to do so. Meanwhile, cyclists coming from Archway Road on the North side will need to cross two sides of the junction outside the traffic lanes in segregated cycle tracks via separate cycle signals. Those approaching from other routes by bike will use regular painted cycle lanes with advanced stop boxes at junctions.

The Archway scheme is part of London's £4bn Road Modernisation Plan, which is a response to the Mayor's Cycling Vision, to get a more diverse range of people on bikes by improving safety and segregated cycle routes. As well as 33 junction improvements for those on foot and bikes, the Plan includes four new segregated Cycle Superhighways.

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