Mayor marks completion of improvements to Henlys Corner

13 January 2012
  • Safer, smoother, crossings for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists
  • Local residents and community leaders welcome the changes at the North Circular junction
  • Improved journey times for traffic through area, part of the Mayor’s smoothing traffic flow agenda for London

Local residents and community leaders will join the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today (13 January) to welcome dramatic improvements at the Henlys Corner junction in North London for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Major works to significantly improve traffic flow, introduce safe pedestrian crossings, and cut street clutter have transformed this busy and vital road junction on the A406.

Ahead of his visit, the Mayor highlighted the achievements at Henlys Corner in a speech at Mansion House last night, where he called for a renewed focus on improving the capital’s roads. The Mayor told London Government leaders that London’s roads risk becoming the unloved sibling of the mass transit system. In an era of record numbers of bus users and cyclists, he argued that it is vital the road network is prioritised for improvement.

Henlys Corner has been upgraded for traffic passing through the junction via the A406 North Circular Road and the A958 Finchley Road / Regents Park. Right turns previously caused significant queues on the local roads. However vehicles are now allowed to move forward and queue in a central area of the junction, which has reduced disruption.

That work has helped to improve journey time for the 94,000 vehicles passing through the junction every day by approximately four minutes during the morning peak and 2.5 minutes in the evening peak.

New fully accessible signal controlled crossings have been installed across all sections of the junction, making crossing the road significantly easier for pedestrians and cyclists. The signals are automated for pedestrians crossing during the Jewish Sabbath, removing the need to operate equipment by the local Jewish community travelling to and from the Kinloss Finchley Synagogue, which is located to the north of the junction.

Queue lengths on junction approaches have also been significantly reduced. On the A406 westbound they are up to five times shorter and on the A598 southbound around three times shorter during the morning peak. It is also anticipated that swifter journey times and shorter queues will result in a reduction in associated vehicle emissions, helping to improve the environment for local residents.

Street clutter has been reduced throughout the area, bus stops on the approaches to Henlys Corner have been upgraded by TfL and work is also underway by TfL and Barnet Council to improve the woodland to the south of the junction as well as the Charter Way Green outside the Kinloss Finchley Synagogue.

New all year bulbs and a range of new trees will be planted in the coming months, which will continue to improve the area for local residents as they grow and prosper.

The project at Henlys Corner is also a fantastic example of how to reduce the impact of roadworks through best practice. Transport for London worked hard to make sure the work was done as quickly as possible and to minimise disruption for everyone driving through or in the area by insisting on 24 hour working.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "This is a tremendous example of how we are improving London’s roads for every type of user. For motorists, cyclists, bus users and pedestrians, this new scheme of crossings and innovative traffic flow measures at Henlys Corner is a game changer."

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “This major improvement scheme has not only opened the area up to the hundreds of pedestrians who cross the junction every day, but has also allowed us to improve traffic flow through this busy and important section of the A406 North Circular Road.

“The improvements that have been delivered here are a textbook example of how we work to improve major road junctions across the Capital for the local community, as well as for wider users, making them better for all road users.”

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Senior Rabbi of Finchley Synagogue, said: “Our community persistently called for a safer intersection and we now greatly welcome the changes that have been made through this life saving project. We are delighted that Henlys Corner is much easier and safer for pedestrians to cross. Members of our community can now get to Synagogue without fear of being knocked down.”

Mike Freer, MP for Finchley & Golders Green said, “I have been campaigning for years for this notorious junction, one of the busiest in London, to be upgraded so it is a delight to see it officially opened by the Mayor. At a time of tight budgets Mayor Boris Johnson secured funding for the scheme, realising the importance of this upgrade to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, and for that he should be congratulated.”

Audrey Morris, Finchley resident, said: "I have lived in Finchley for over fifty years, and at last can cross the road at Henlys Corner safely. I have been following the progress of the works day and night, from the planning stages, to the completion ahead of schedule and want to thank and congratulate everyone involved. It really is excellent."

Brian Coleman, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, said: "This is an excellent investment in one of the borough's strategic junctions and is long overdue."



Notes to Editors:

  • The Mayor of London and TfL are committed to reducing congestion in London. Roadworks account for a third of the Capital’s most serious and severe traffic delay and can cost the economy almost £1 billion a year. Therefore it is essential that adequate and innovative steps are taken to help reduce the levels of congestion.
  • TfL has full operational responsibility for the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) - the Capital’s ‘Red Routes’, which makes up around 5 per cent (580km) of London’s total road length but carries over 30 per cent of London’s traffic and accounts for up to 40 per cent of the total economic value of traffic movement across the city.
  • London has around 20 per cent of the UK’s traffic congestion, which analysis by TfL shows can cost the UK economy at least £2bn a year. Three quarters of this congestion is on either the TLRN or the Borough Principal Road Network (BPRN). No less than 15 per cent of the UK’s traffic congestion is therefore concentrated on less than 0.5 per cent of the country’s 400,000km of roads.
  • The works at Henlys Corner were completed ahead of schedule by Tarmac National Contracting on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) in December
  • Tarmac is the UK's largest quarrying company and a leading supplier of construction materials. It is market leader for aggregates, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete. Its National Contracting division is also the largest road maintenance and highways services company in the UK.