The Anonymous Widower

Landscaping Outside Highbury & Islington Station Is Nearing Completion

I took these pictures  outside Highbury & Islington station, this afternoon.

It does appear that this long project is nearing completion.

At least there’s now a large space in front of the station, that leads up towards Upper Street.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Highbury Corner Is Finally Getting There!

I had almost stopped using Highbury & Islington station, due to the construction works at Highbury Corner, which have been going on for several years.

I posted Changes At Highbury Corner in February 2016.

These pictures show it a few days ago!

This map from the linked post shows the intended road layout.

Highbury Corner Changes

Highbury Corner Changes

The map is a good summary of the proposed changes.

It certainly means that my walk from the bus-top to the station isn’t an obstacle course.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

A New Curvy Path At Highbury Corner

The results of the consultation on Highbury Corner are on this page on the TfL web site.

Two options are presented for the arboretum in the middle of the roundabout.

  • 14 per cent chose Option 1 (keep the arboretum closed to the public)
  • 56 per cent chose Option 2 (open up the arboretum for public use)

I voted for Option 2, as it will be a more pleasant walk from bus to train station, on a new path through the trees.

Note.

  • The station is in the top-left with a large pedestrian area in front.
  • I would walk to the station along the leading through the trees

Both options include a new curvy path between the original arboretum and the pedestrian area in front of the pub and McDonalds.

One picture shows a possible cafe on the curvy path.

I like that idea! But no anonymous foreign-registered unhealthy tax-avoiding chain! Please!

 

March 15, 2018 Posted by | Food, Transport | , | Leave a comment

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

Conclusion

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

 

 

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Sorting Out Highbury Corner And Highbury And Islington Station

Highbury Corner is an important transport hub in Islington, where traffic from the City starts to squeeze up the A1 to get North. It also contains the important but badly-designed rail station of Highbury and Islington. This Google Earth image shows the area.

Highbury Corner

Highbury Corner

Note the green space named as Highbury Island in the middle of the junction with traffic going all the way round in both directions.

The road leading off to the North West (top-left) is the A1, which goes up the Holloway Road to Archway, which is another major junction, that needs a good sorting. The road leading to the East is St. Paul’s Road, which leads to the Balls Pond Road and Dalston Junction. The roads leading to the south from the island are extremely congested at all times and all the way to the Angel and Old Street respectively. They are the sort of roads, that make me glad, I don’t drive any more.

The junction is a pedestrian’s nightmare, as you are constantly crossing busy roads on light-controlled crossings.

What I find particularly difficult is that to get from the stop where buses from my house arrive in St.Paul’s Road to Highbury and Islington station involves two road crossings. It’s so tiresome, that often if I need the Victoria or Northern City Line at the station, I’ll walk to Dalston Junction station and get the North London Line for two stops. Coming home, I’ll get the North London Line back to Dalston Junction and then get any of four buses back towards Highbury Corner to my house.

It’s not quicker, but it’s certainly easier and definitely more pleasant in bad weather.

This illustrates how bad Highbury Corner is for buses, which like the vehicle routes need a very good sorting.

Add to this that Highbury and Islington station is a dreadful 1960s station, that has inadequate access to the two deep lines. To be fair though, access to the four London Overground platforms is a lot better. I have written before that there could also be access to these platforms from the other end, but that may well happen, when a new station is developed.

At the present time, work is ongoing to clear the area in front of the station, by removing the old Post Office, before the main bridge that carries the A1 over the railway is replaced.

In July 2004, Islington Council produced a planning framework for the area. It is packed full of information and some worthwhile proposals.

It suggests the following.

1. Giving public access to Highbury Island and turning it into a green oasis with facilities.

2. Proposals to simplify the traffic flows, with a strong hint, that traffic on the Western side of the Highbury island be closed off.

3. In the rebuilding of the station, it says that building could incorporate extensive development over the North London Line tracks for residential or other purposes.

4. Using the old Highbury and Islington station on the North side of the junction to create a new access for escalators and lifts to the lines deep under the station.

The report also told me, the purpose of the strange elliptical building on the north side of the North London Line, which is at the top-right of the Google image. It’s the vent shaft for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Hopefully, in the next few years, we’ll see the sorting out of the area.

1

April 12, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Work Starts On The Bridge At Highbury Corner

I walked past Highbury and Islington station this morning and it appears that work is starting on replacing the bridge.

The crossing has been moved away from the station, but the old Post Office hasn’t been demolished yet.

February 1, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Sawyer And Gray At Highbury Corner

Highbury Corner is a bit short of eating places that appeal to me. Over the past couple of months, I’ve passed a new cafe called Sawyer and Gray on my way to the bus stop to get the  30 home.

Today, after coming back from my travels to the station and after buying my Sunday Times in the littleWaitrose, I ventured inside to have a cup of tea.

I liked what I saw and decided to have some scrambled egg and smoked salmon for an early lunch.

It was very good and I shall go back again. When Kings Cross and Euston have got their escalators fixed, it will be very convenient for a sustaining drink on the way home from a trip up north.

Note that the restaurant is a bit of a Tardis and as it has a basement with seven tables, it’s a lot bigger than it appears from the street.

 

December 28, 2014 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment

A Waste Of Space

The photographs show the central island at Highbury Corner.

Note that a couple of these pictures were taken over several days and in some, workers would appear to be tidying it up.

Surely something better could be done with this green space. Walk for about ten minutes and you come to Newington Green, which is a green space with a cafe in the middle of a busy traffic interchange, that has improved immensely in recent years.

Two points.

1. One thing that needs sorting is the position of the bus stand for the 277, which is totally in the wrong place.

2. The memorial garden to those that died in the V1 attack is tucked away and might be better moved to the middle, if public were to be allowed access.

With a bit of imaginative thinking, Highbury Corner could be a green space to welcome people to the thriving Upper Street.

December 28, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

What Is Happening At Highbury Corner?

Highbury Corner is a notorious junction, which I used to avoid when I drove, as it could often cause a lot of delay.

These pictures show barriers going up and the crossing outside Highbury and Islington station.

It would also appear that a new crossing is being built about fifty metres up Holloway Road. The guy in the paper shop told me that the main crossing will be closed and that the old Post Office will be demolished. I found this summary of the works here on the TfL web site. All the work is to replace a weak bridge and it says this about the old Post Office in particular.

The empty Post Office building needs to be demolished, and we expect to start work in the week beginning Monday 5 January 2015. The demolition work will be completed by March 2015.

We will make every effort to minimise the impact of noise and dust during the demolition.

The footpaths next to the old Post Office will remain open, although hoardings around the demolition site will make the footpaths narrower. This might create some crowding at busy times, impacting journeys in and out of the station.

In 2015, the main works to replace the bridge will begin.

I think it will be a good idea for pedestrians and drivers to avoid the area until 2017, when the article says that the bridge works will be complete.

The station is at a location where development would surely be worthwhile. Especially, if it put right all of the mistakes of the 1960s, which produced a Victoria Line station for the fit, agile and young. Below ground it’s a dump!

At least though it would appear that the western side of the roundabout will have reduced traffic levels and bus/Underground/Overground connections will be easier. The centre of the roundabout with its trees would also be opened up to the public.

My hopes for the bus/train interchange would include.

1. The 277 bus go right around to terminate in front of the station, ready to pick up passengers arriving at the station.

2. Easy interchange at the station from the 277 to either the 43 or the 271 to go north up Holloway Road towards Archway, Highgate and Barnet. At present you need to use two light-controlled crossings to cross two busy main roads, to affect the change.

3. The reverse journey on a southbound 43 or 271 to catch a 277 eastwards is probably more difficult, unless the buses cut through the western side of the roundabout.

 

But I think, I’m asking for too much!

I doubt though the development will be as grand as the original.

The Old Highbury and Islington Station

The Old Highbury and Islington Station

The entry on Wikipedia says this about the history of the station building.

The NLR station was damaged by a V-1 flying bomb on 27 June 1944, however, its main building remained in use until it was demolished in the 1960s during the building of the Victoria line. The original westbound platform buildings remain, as does a small part of the original entrance to the left of the present station entrance.

The Victoria Line might have had world leading automatic train operation when it opened, but most of the architecture and building of the stations, was some of the worst in the UK in the 1960s.

December 24, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Respect At Highbury Cormer

This morning I was at Highbury Corner, waiting for a bus.

A funeral cortège passed and several of the men present took off their hats.

January 22, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment