The Anonymous Widower

Changes At Highbury Corner

Transport for London have announced their plans to change the pedestrian, cycling and vehicle routes at Highbury Corner, which are detailed in this document on their web site, which is entitled Have your say on improvements to Highbury Corner for pedestrians and cyclists, and changes to bus services.

The document contains this map.

Highbury Corner Changes

Highbury Corner Changes

The map is a good summary of the proposed changes.

  • The western side of the roundabout is to be closed and become a pedestrian area.
  • The roads around the roundabout will become two-way.
  • The area in front of Highbury and Islington station and the Famous Cock public house will become a large pedestrian area.
  • Pedestrian routes will be improved.
  • There will be new cycling routes.
  • There will be provision for a taxi rank by the station.
  • The 277 bus route will be cut back to Dalston Junction and more buses will run on route 30.
  • There will be a new N277 night bus.

They are also developing two options for the arboretum in the middle of the roundabout.

  • Option 1 would keep it closed off from the hoi polloi.
  • Option 2 would open it up to create a pleasant walking route to the station.

The first option would see nineteen trees felled and the second twenty-three.

My Problems With The Current Layout

I try to avoid using Highbury Corner as much as possible, despite it being an easy bus ride on a 30 or 277 bus from the stop behind my house.

The reasons are as follows.

  1. Highbury and Islington station needs a makeover with a wrecking ball. It has no lifts to the Victoria and Northern City Line platforms and at certain times of the year, my feet aren’t up to the stations long and dreary passages.
  2. To get to the station from the bus stop, you have to walk along a narrow pavement and cross a busy road on a light-controlled crossing at both ends of the walk. To make matters worse, there are two roads, which are used by drivers as rat runs and then there are bikes chained up blocking the pavement.
  3. Coming home is only one road crossing, but the bus stop is exposed and can be a bleak and polluted place to wait.
  4. If I’m coming home with heavy shopping, it’s impossible to get a taxi.
  5. The bus stops are not well-placed if you arrive at the station and want to go South to the Angel.
  6. Some of the pavements are rather narrow and crowded.

At least when I’m coming home, I can take the North London Line to Dalston Junction station and then get a bus from outside the station.

So how does the new layout affect my points.

1. Highbury And Islington Station

This isn’t covered in the current plans and I hope when TfL get round to sorting the station, they do a good job. I would like to see the following.

  • Full step-free access.
  • A second entrance in the 1904 entrance on the other side of Holloway Road
  • Better laid out walking routes to the Emirates Stadium.
  • A decent iconic building on the top of the station.

In Could We Create A Second Entrance To The Overground At Highbury And Islington Station, I proposed an a second entrance at the other end of the Overground plstforms.

It’s probably not feasible, but the station has potential for being a lot better.

2. Walking Between The Station And The Bus Stops On St. Paul’s Road

The walking route is improved a bit.

  • Moving the crossing on St. Paul’s Road to the west is good.
  • The wider pavement in froint of Marie Curie will help.
  • The closure of Corsica Street is good.
  • I would like to see more of a closure of Highbury Place.

But the walking route is improved a lot, if Option 2 for the arboretum is implemented.

  • It would be much more pleasant and sheltered to walk through the trees.
  • I like the option to walk from the St. Paul’s Road stop, to catch a 271 bus to go towards Archway at Stop H.

It will of course seem to be longer.

3. The Eastbound Stop On St. Paul’s Road

There is very little that can be done to improve Stop C, unless it was moved nearer the roundabout and placed on a wider pavement.

It is a stop that gets loaded up with fast food litter and needs a Big Belly.

4. Taxis

I like the provision of a taxi rank, in front of the station.

5. Buses To The Angel

The bus stops seem better positioned.

If possible I would like to see Stops F and G as near to the station as possible, with Stop G on a wider pavement.

Stop G is probably a better option now to go South, as the bus routes 4, 19 and 30 have joined and it should be easier to cross the traffic.

6. Narrow And Crowded Pavements

The places that I don’t like are.

  • From the Barclays Bank to Bus Stop C along the North side of the roundabout.
  • From the station to Bus Stop G.
  • From the station to Bus Stop F.

The first and third will be improved if drivers don’t rush into and out of side roads.

The second may be improved by the better crossing at the roundabout.

But I do feel that bus stops C and G need to be on wider pavements.

These are my comments on other parts of the proposals.

Traffic Routes

As I don’t drive, any more, I won’t comment, other than to say, that if drivers obey the signals, pedestrians will be happy.

Closure Of The Western Side Of The Roundabout

I’m very much in favour, as all stations should welcome you to an area. A pedestrian space half the size of a football pitch does that!

Improved Pedestrian Crossings

No problem! I don’t like double crossings, as I’m getting a bit slow.

Legible London Signage

I have a gammy left hand and use the signs and liths a lot, as I find them easier to use than a book of maps or a smart-phone,

New Cycling Facilities

My days of cycling in areas like Highbury Corner are long gone. So long as cyclists obey the rules and don’t knock me over on the pavement, I’ll leave them alone.

Changes To Trees

A proportion of London’s trees are suffering because of pollution and some others are inappropriate for today’s climate.

All I ask, is that a sensible approach is taken, that in a few years means that Highbury Corner is held up, as the correct way to manage an urban space.

Some people get far too emnotional about trees, when a hard-nosed practical approach can often lead to more trees being planted.

I should also say, that I used to own and live in a property surrounded by beautiful trees, many of which were hundreds of years old.

Over a period of about ten years, I lost about twenty specimen elm trees to Dutch Elm Disease and then the Great Storm of 1987 blew half the rest of my wonderful trees away overnight.

Bus Service Changes

I’m broadly in favour and providing that the extra buses are added to route 30 to make up for the loss of route 277 between Dalston Junction andv Highbury and Islington, I won’t bother too much.

I sometimes feel that there might be scope for a bus to go on a route something like this.

  • Shoreditch
  • Dalston Junction
  • Highbury and Islington
  • Holloway Road
  • Archway

But I think I’m just being selfish!

Options For A New Public Space

As I want to walk through the arboretum, when I take a bus to Highbury and Islington station, I’m totally in favour of Option 2.

Drop-In Sessions

TfL will be holding three events at which you can view the proposals in detail and speak to representatives of TfL and Islington Council.

Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, London N1 2UN

  • Wednesday, 24 February 15:00 – 19:00
  • Saturday, 27 February 09:30 – 13:30
  • Monday, 29 February 10:00 – 14:00


It’s a good start and I wouldn’t be surprised if the final scheme was better.



February 13, 2016 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] posted Changes At Highbury Corner in February […]

    Pingback by Highbury Corner Is Finally Getting There! « The Anonymous Widower | May 31, 2019 | Reply

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