Following news of the late-notice closure of Holloway Road for nearly three months, which started on Friday night (October 21), Islington Council has secured a range of concessions from Transport for London (TfL) to help those who will be worst-affected.
TfL announced at short notice that bridge replacement work had not gone to plan at Upper Holloway station and it needed to close Holloway Road southbound for nearly three months, including more than four weeks of total closure in both directions.
Despite winning some key concessions for residents and businesses since the announcement, Islington will keep challenging for further measures to soften the blow of unavoidable and widespread disruption across a large swathe of London that will last well into the New Year.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “While there is no doubt TfL got this disastrously wrong with such a short-notice closure of this major road, we have been pushing them hard ever since to get this next stage right.
“I am pleased that TfL has listened to us and quickly taken steps to help minimise some of the damaging effects of this unavoidable closure.
“The prospect of funnelling the A1 through a residential street like Tufnell Park Rd is unacceptable, so we have insisted on alternative diversions and signs advising motorists from outer London and beyond to avoid the area altogether.
“Where bus stops are closed, TfL have agreed to run shuttle buses which will be particularly helpful for those with a disability or mobility issues, and parents with prams.
“This will all help, but there are still some key concerns we want addressed, including keeping road space for cyclists during the works, and the question of emergency services getting to a number of homes, businesses, shops and a church within the 100-metre vehicle exclusion zone at the bridge.
“We are keeping an open dialogue with TfL and will monitor the situation and keep up the pressure. But we should not underestimate the huge impact that this three-month closure will have – not just on Islington but the whole of London.
“Residents face a difficult and frustrating time over the next few months; they can be sure we are fighting their corner to make it as bearable as possible.”
As a result of our interventions, TfL has now committed:
- To provide a shuttle bus service along the parts of Holloway Road ‘cut off’ by the diversion route, so people with a disability or mobility issues can get around, access their homes and shops, and reach the diverted bus routes;
- To provide extra bus services on the Route 91 to help take the strain of commuters trying to avoid the bottleneck;
- To ‘strengthen’ other bus services to maintain reliable journey times;
- To station its staff in hi-vis clothing along Holloway Road and the Tufnell Park Road diversion route to help residents and visitors, and direct traffic;
- To smooth traffic flow in the local area by revising traffic signal patterns;
- To prevent wide loads and other abnormal vehicles from using the diversion;
- To minimise traffic from motorways by extending the advance warning signs out to the M25, M1, M40, M11 and beyond – even as far as Birmingham;
- To plan additional diversion routes in the immediate area in case of an emergency or incident along the current diversion;
- To warn almost 1,000 businesses in the area affected of the disruption, and take on queries;
- To return the residential roads taking the extra traffic to good condition.