Archway Gyratory Proposals

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

Summary of petition

“We call on TFL to: • Immediately halt its gyratory enlargement plans in order to give due consideration to alternative road layouts that keep traffic on major roads, not residential streets, including incorporating a right turn at St Johns Way. • Commit to reducing pollution on Vorley Road and other residential roads affected by the gyratory by revising its redevelopment plan and demonstrate to the local community how it will do this before work on the gyratory starts.”

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 on behalf of petitioners about bus services in Archway. Transport for London's (TfL's) plans for Archway aims to transform the gyratory by changing the one-way traffic system to a two-way operation, while also 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. The scheme balances the competing demands placed on the area, and in my view is the best possible design solution, benefiting all users. The scheme will close the southwestern arm of the gyratory (Lower Highgate Hill), requiring associated road layout changes, including altering Vorley Road to be a one-way clockwise system. This means that it would not be possible for some buses to access the bus stands on Vorley Road and would require other buses to access it by taking a much longer route, which would delay journey times. Therefore, the relocation of the bus stands is fundamentally linked to the development of the gyratory. Relocation of bus stands also supports the London Borough of Islington's aspiration to build affordable housing and community facitilies on the borough-owned site. Currently, seven bus routes (4,17, 41, 143, 290, C11 and W5) terminate in Archway, and all use a site on Vorley Road to stand buses. Due to the road layout changes, it is necessary to move these bus stands to the following on-street locations. On Archway Road; - Three routes (17, 143, and 390) would be accommodated on Archway Road northbound; - Three routes (4, C11 and W5) would be accommodated on Archway Road southbound; and - Each stand would be 79 metres in length and provide space for up to six buses to stand. On MacDonald Road, one route (41) would stand on MacDonald Road near the leisure centre, providing space for up to three buses to stand. The six bus routes that are proposed to stand on Archway Road would turn around by making a U-turn at a new set of traffic lights. General traffic will be held on a red signal while both pedestrians and the bus U Turn receive a green signal. It is expected that around 50 buses will need to make this U-turn over an hour period, with approximately half the buses using one northbound side of Archway Road to stand, and the other half using the southbound side to stand. TfL will ensure that sufficient green signal time is given to southbound traffic on Archway Road through the pedestrian crossing and U-turn signals. The traffic lights around the gyratory, including the U-turn signals, will be closely coordinated to avoid traffic queuing back from the next stop line at the Tollhouse Way junction, which would block the pedestrian crossing and U- turn. TfL held public consultations between 11 January and 29 February 2016 on how bus routes will pass through the new road layout, and which routes will serve which bus stops. The intention of this consultation was to reach final decisions on the operation of bus services with a view to aligning their introduction with the completion of the new road layout in Archway, expected in early 2017. I have enclosed a map showing the proposed routes for ease of reference. A summary of traffic modelling results is available under the 'Related Documents' section at consultations.tfl.gov.uk/betterjunctions/archway-junction/. I understand that some local people with to retain a right-turn from St. John's Way into Archway Road and Highgate Hill. Despite multiple investigations, the right turn could not be accommodated in the design without significant impact to all road users, including substantial journey time increases for general traffic and buses on St John's Way and Holloway Road. It is anticipated that this may encourage motorists to look for alternative routes through local streets, creating a shift in traffic. TfL has extensively investigated allowing the right-turn from St John's Way into Archway Road. Despite multiple investigations, the right turn could not be accommodated in the design without significant impact to all road users, including substantial journey time increases for general traffic and buses on St John's Way and Holloway Road. 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 design 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 constraints 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 movement 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 a number of routes: via Vorley Road, via Hazelville Road and Hornsey Lane, via Hornsey road and Hornsey Lane or via Cressida. 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. As a result, due to the significant impact to road users caused by allowing the right-turn from St John's Way, the construction of the new junction layout will include a permanent ban of the right-turn. Together with the London Borough of Islington, TfL is committed to monitoring the traffic levels in the area once construction is complete. I can assure you that TfL will be considering mitigating measures if the monitoring shows significant increases in traffic flows on local roads. Thank you again for writing to me, and I suggest that you follow up with the next Deputy Mayor for Transport."