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Highbury Corner: who wants a refuge where you can breathe in fumes?

23 February, 2018

• I DON’T doubt that the so-called traffic experts have made up their minds that come hell or high water they will force the Highbury Corner plans through by fair or foul means (Why are we being kept in dark about plans for Highbury Corner? February 16).

It is always the same: the answer is: “We are the experts and we know best.” Having seen myself the chaos caused by the temporary two-way system at the roundabout over Christmas while the railway bridge was being rebuilt – and that with less traffic – I can only imagine what it would be like with normal traffic.

Do we really need to put the road layout back to what it was in the late 1950s, early 1960s when there was less traffic than today? I don’t think so. Would any sane person want to sit in the middle of the roundabout breathing in all those lovely exhaust fumes when a few yards away you can have peace and quiet in Highbury Fields?

A good example of how they get it wrong was when a few years ago the experts insisted on making the bottom of Caledonian Road, between Wharfdale Road and Caledonia Street, back to two-way working, with residents in Wharfdale Road up in arms over the vibration and exhaust from stationary traffic.

God knows how many millions were spent on this disaster. Then sense prevailed and it was put back to one-way working. Again, at what cost to the tax­payer?

I can remember when, in the late 50s, early 60s, the bottom of the Cally was two-way but again there was not the traffic there is today. That scheme was put in temporarily due to a combined bus and tube strike, called off at the last moment.

No doubt money will be spent and wasted on taking out this part of Highbury Corner roundabout – and then later putting it back to how it is now. But then it is only public money that’s being wasted.

This money could be better spent on improving the eyesore that is Highbury and Islington station. The old entrance across the road could be put back into use and lifts provided, as they used to be, to improve access to the Victoria line and Moorgate train platforms. But then again that is being sensible.

What happened to the money that was supposed to improve access to Arsenal and Holloway Road stations on the Piccadilly line as part of the consent for Arsenal to build its new ground?

At the moment when there is a home game Holloway Road tube station is closed for about an hour before the game starts and after it finishes, so putting extra congestion on Highbury, Arsenal and Finsbury Park stations.

Far better to spend the sort of money that will be thrown at closing part of Highbury Corner roundabout on improving Highbury and Holloway Road stations. Anything that would improve the situation so that people can better use these stations.

Also, why is Drayton Park station not used to ease pressure on Arsenal, Holloway Road, Highbury and Finsbury Park stations when there is a home match? Drayton Park could be used exit-only when going to the match and entry-only after the match. Again, too simple a solution.

Clissold Crescent, N16


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