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Work starts on Highbury Corner overhaul

Neighbours’ rat-run fears as roundabout project that’s expected to go on until ‘late 2019’ gets underway

29 June, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

An illustration of how the new Highbury Corner could look

DIGGERS moved in to rip up the Highbury Corner roundabout yesterday (Thursday) with some residents fuming that drivers could use their streets as alternative routes.

With work expected to last at least a year, critics lashed out at the planning behind the scheme at a public meeting at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening.

Transport for London (TfL) are closing the western arm of the roundabout and creating a new pedestrianised area. A new two-lane traffic system will aim to make the layout safer for cyclists who will be able to access a segregated bike lane.

The project is being backed by Islington Council.

Residents in nearby streets have warned that car drivers will use their roads during the works – scheduled to end in “late 2019” – and expect Fieldway Crescent to see an increase in traffic once it is all done.

Ian Kelly, who lives in Fieldway Crescent, told the Tribune: “We are carrying a totally unfair volume of through traffic due to previous road closures and the possibility of having yet another road closure on Corsica Street is going to exasperate the volume of traffic on Fieldway Crescent.”

He added: “We have been telling the council this endlessly – we must have assurances that there will be mitigating circumstances in place. It seems obvious to everybody that if you close one road, the traffic will move to the next. It’s not rocket science.

“The pollution levels are extremely high – it’s akin to a motorway on occasions. This is a small, side residential street – it was never intended to carry this volume of traffic. It requires some urgent attention. A lot of children walk up and down to the pools and the library.”

Julia Vellacott, who lives in Compton Terrace, said: “We don’t feel we have been properly informed to be happy that everything being done is the right way to do it. We are worried about extra congestion and extra pollution.”

Thomas Holmes, from TfL, told the meeting: “This scheme has been consulted on and the majority of responses said the scheme has been supported and given the go-ahead. The overall impact on noise and air quality is neutral.”

He added: “This may feel rushed, but we have done a vast amount of planning. The junction currently has a poor safety record. We are trying to make the road safer for our most vulnerable users – pedestrians and cyclists.”

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