Archway Gyratory

Date petition submitted: 
02 March 2016
Petition presented by: 
Jennette Arnold AM,
Petition presented at: 
London Assembly Plenary

Summary of petition

“As part of the Archway Gyratory proposal, Transport for London (TfL) plans to close a right turn from St John's Way which will re-route two bus services and hospital-/north-bound A1 traffic into local roads serving the Archway Children's Centre, Girdlestone Estate and Whitehall Park Conservation Area. The above have several residential areas, playgrounds and a nursery/children's centre well-loved and well-used by many pregnant women and under-5s. We, the undersigned, petition the Mayor of London, TfL and Islington Council to commence a pre-construction air quality survey in summer 2015, so that a better-informed decision can be made - not just based on journey minutes alone, but also the number of young lives saved from worsening pollution - year after year. In particular, we call upon the Mayor and Islington Council to: 1) Allow volunteers to append diffusion tubes to lamp-posts at Vorley Road, Macdonald Road, St John's Way, Highgate Hill (lower part) and within Whitehall Park Conservation Area. This will be similar to what was achieved at the upper part of Highgate Hill (website: www.camden.greenparty.org.uk/campaigns/air-pollution.html); 2) Convince TfL that the air quality survey results are a material concern in pre-construction reviews of the Archway Gyratory details (e.g. amending the current proposal so that no new bus routes are diverted into Vorley Road); 3) Urge TfL to meet the Archway Children's Centre Parents/Carers Group and other community groups from July 2015 and progressively beyond, to clarify and discuss improvements to the current gyratory proposal; and 4) Retain a right-turning route from St John's Way in the first year of the new road layout as part of the planned post-construction review, rather than ban it from the outset (based on traffic simulations alone). This will be a more accurate assessment and reduce abortive work, disruptions and costs in re-opening the right turn in future, when traffic and pollution spillover proves to be unsafe and unacceptable.”

Response information

Response title: 
Mayor's Response
Name of person responding: 
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Response date: 
07 April 2016
"Thank you for your letter of 4 March enclosing a petition about the Archway Gyratory proposal. Transport for London (TfL) is delivering an unprecedented transformation of London's road network through the Road Modernisation Plan (RMP). A key part of that plan is to make London's busiest junctions safer and more attractive for cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. The plans for Archway aim to transform the gyratory by changing the one-way traffic system to a two-way operation and creating a new public space in the heart of the town. The changes, which include improvements for cyclists and pedestrians, will make the town centre a more pleasant and accessible environment for all users. Works started in February this year and are planned to be completed in summer 2017. Updates on the project and travel advice are available on TfL's website at tfl.gov.uk/archway-gyratory. I will now address the points raised in the petition in turn. 1) Append diffusion tubes to lamp posts - TfL and the London Borough of Islington attended a meeting with parents at the Vorley Road Chidren's Centre on 15 October 2015. A request to install further diffusion lamps at Archway was raised by parents at the centre, with TfL and Islington raising no objection to this request. in addition, Islington agreed to fund an extended study. 2) Bus routes on Vorley Road- TfL carefully considers the potential environmental impact of a scheme, and has undertaken assessments of impacts the Archway scheme may have on air quality and noise. TfL shared the results of an Air Quality and Noise Assessment of Vorley Road and Macdonald Road with the Children's Centre in October 2015. The results of these assessments indicate that there will be no increases and decreases in noise and air quality concentrations in different areas. Due to changes to the road layout, bus services in the area will need to be adapted. The new highway layout will relocate the bus stand currently situated on Vorley Road. TfL's assessment shows a slight increase in air quality and decrease in noise on Vorley Road. This is mainly attributable to the reduction in buses no longer using Macdonald Road and Vorley Road to access the bus stand. Only bus routes 41 and 21- will pass the Children's Centre, reducing the frequency of buses passing the Children's Centre from 50 to 20 per hour. In addition, TfL is engaged in a wide programme of initiatives to improve the environmental performance of the bus fleet. As part of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) additional steps are being taken to reduce emissions from buses and to increase the number of zero emission vehicles. By 2020, all double-decker buses operating in Central London will be hybrid and all single-decker buses will be zero emission (at point of use). This means that a substantial number of double-decker buses operating in inner London will be hybrid vehicles, as will many in outer London. Routes 43, 134, 263, 4, 17 and 390 travel through Archway and the proposed ULEZ. These vehicles will consequently benefit from improved emissions performance. This is a rolling programme and TfL aims to have all buses in its fleet zero-emission or hybrid. 3) Meetings- TfL ahs worked with numerous stakeholders and addressed the majority of the concerns raised in subsequent correspondence. Throughout the design process, TfL and Islington have spoken with local stakeholder groups and met with the following multiple times: Better Archway Forum (BAF); Islington Cyclist Action Grouo (ICAG); Whitehall Park Area Residents Association (WHPARA); Hillrise Ward Partnership, Junction Ward Partnership. TfL has also worked with the Vorley Road Children's Centre, attending meetings at the Children's Centre and TfL on 7 August, 2 September and 10 October 2015. 4) Right-turn ban: TfL has investigated extensively allowing the right turn from St John's Way into Archway Road, including design options submitted by the Vorley Road Children's Centre. Despite multiple investigations, the right turn could not be accommodated in the design without signification impact to all road users, including substantial journey time increases for general traffic and buses on St John's Way and Holloway Road. TfL has previously shared the modelling report with the Vorley Road Children's Centre for introducing a right turn at St John's Way. The main issue with accommodating the right turn is a lack of space and in the present design it would encroach on north and southbound movements. All of the options investigated, including allowing the right turn only for buses, either do not meet acceptable standards or impact the journey times and safety of multiple users including pedestrians. Designing a flexible layout has also been investigated, including options which do not take into account the space constrains such as the location of building lines and the boundary wall of the park. However, these still do not resolve the performance and safety impacts as a result of allowing the right turn. The right turn from St John's Way is the lightest at the junction, with traffic counts showing that an average of just below two vehicles per minute currently make the right turn in the busiest morning peak hour and one vehicle per minute in the busiest evening peak hour. For comparison, the traffic flow on Archway Road in one direction (southbound) in the morning peak is approximately 14 vehicles per minute. The majority of this traffic goes to Highgate Hill, although some goes to Archway Road. It is not possible to determine exactly how much of this traffic would re-route or use alternative routes to Highgate Hill or Archway Road. Vehicles could choose from number of routes: via Vorley Road, via Hazelville Road and Hornsey Lane, via Hornsey Road and Hornsey Lane or via Cressida Road. Each of the four routes is therefore likely to take a share of the two (or one) vehicles per minute. Additionally some of this traffic might choose alternative routes earlier in their journey and bypass the area altogether. TfL and Islington are committed to monitoring the traffic levels following construction and will consider mitigating measures if the monitoring shows significant increases in traffic flows on local roads. I hope that this assures you and the petitioners that TfL and I are committed to making sure the Archway scheme provided the best solution for everyone."