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Holloway Road chaos will now go on until SPRING

PUBLISHED: 09:28 12 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:18 13 January 2017

The new Upper Holloway Bridge is under construction. Picture: TfL.

The new Upper Holloway Bridge is under construction. Picture: TfL.

Archant

Despairing commuters expecting an end to the traffic hell around Holloway Road on Monday will instead have to wait until spring, the Gazette can reveal.

Contractors work on the steel  bridge installation. Picture: TfL.Contractors work on the steel bridge installation. Picture: TfL.

Next week should have put an end to three months of chaotic closures around the Upper Holloway bridge.

But Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that although the road will reopen, bus lanes in both directions will remain closed for a few more months.

To make matters worse, long-running work at Highbury Corner, which had been suspended during the A1 closure, will now resume. Only one lane will open in each direction between the roundabout and Digwell Street until the end of March.

The last-minute, £25million work on the A1 has caused bedlam for drivers, cyclists, bus users and businesses over the last three months.

The work on the A1 near the Upper Holloway bridge. Picture: TfLThe work on the A1 near the Upper Holloway bridge. Picture: TfL

Islington Council, which was left scrambling to ease the congestion caused by the surprise closures, was forced to ban lorries from Tufnell Park Road because it could often be seen in a state of complete gridlock, with buses forced to switch off their engines at times.

The huge works up the road at the Archway gyratory have only added to problems for commuters, while traders in the closed off stretch of the A1 have been hit hard too.

Barber Nick Christophorou said his business, Short Cut Barber, had suffered massively and will tomorrow march to the TfL head office with a petition demanding compensation for his losses.

Nick said last year: “I have been in business at my present location for nearly 20 years and have an established client base.

“The recent totally unexpected and unannounced road closure of Holloway Road due to Upper Holloway bridge replacement works has hit my trade like a bomb.

“I am unable to display my sandwich board on the pavement as I have done for years and many clients assume I am not open.

“TfL should have given us local businesses some notice of these works and I am totally at odds as to why this disruption should inconvenience us for nearly three months, let alone more.

“In this day and age a quarter of a year to solve a minor replacement is absolutely ridiculous.

“Surely TfL owes local businesses an apology and compensation for loss of earnings.”

Nick Fairholme, TfL’s director of projects, said: “The bus lane closures are required until early spring, while we complete the final stage of work to the bridge and prepare Upper Holloway Station for reopening in February.

“We would like to thank local residents and motorists for their patience while these vital works take place and apologise for the inconvenience caused by the road closure.”

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