In November 2014, Islington Council returned the stretch of Caledonian Road between Wharfdale Road and Caledonia Street to two-way traffic. The council claims that it ‘has taken the first steps towards removing the hated King’s Cross gyratory system’.

However, as far as we are aware, Transport for London has not yet confirmed that the gyratory system is ever going to be removed (more on this later).

The implementation of the two-way system has created chaos in the area. There are frequent traffic jams in the southbound lane of Caledonian Road – sometimes reaching as far back as the canal bridge. The northbound lane is rarely used.

There are also frequent jams in Wharfdale Road, with traffic often backed up along York Way.

                                                                   Click on the photos for more information. 

The noise and air pollution caused by the constantly idling traffic is making residents’ lives miserable. Many are desperate for Caledonian Road to be returned to a one-way system.

This website has been created to help us in our campaign to persuade Islington Council to listen to us.

Please leave a comment to let us know how the situation has affected you, and click on the ‘follow’ button so that we can let the council know how many people support the campaign.

UPDATE [13th May 2015]

Our flyers and posters are ready! We are having some printed today, but it’s going to be expensive to get as many printed as we would like.

You can help the campaign by printing out some flyers (A5) or posters (A4). You could hand them out to people in the neighbourhood or ask local shopkeepers to display them.

Please talk to people about the campaign, and encourage them to visit this website and click on the ‘follow’ button. Thanks!

Download the flyer here (A5)

Download the flyer here (A5)

Download the poster here (A4)

Download the poster here (A4)


31 thoughts on “Hello

  1. I lived lived on Caledonian road for over thirty years and have never known such high levels of traffic, including noise and pollution. It feels dangerous to cross the road each day. Very disappointed with Islington council.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deeply disappointed by flippant attitude of Islington Council Engineer when told of residents’ health concerns related to pollution and emissions due to traffic endlessly idling at the junction: “Well, the NHS is free!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is appalling. Please report that officer to the Council as they’ve acted totally unprofessionally and should be stopped from ever doing that again. If you don’t have the officer’s name, report where and when the incident took place. Good luck…


      • Sophie, I know the name and date/time of the officer. He is the lead engineer for this junction transformation. If I thought it would make a difference I would report it to the Council but sadly I feel I will just waste my time. I see the Council currently running roughshod over residents’ health in its pursuit of political points with TfL. I’d rather have them tell me to my face what they really think, rather than pretending to care about residents.


      • John I was there, and the man was so arrogant and bemused by it all. He could see and hear the chaos but didn’t care.


  3. Traffic, noise and air pollution are increasing on Wharfdale Road, due to the new traffic lights at the end of the road. Residents’ quality of life and health are at risk.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seems a pointless change if very little traffic is using the northbound lane! I too am worried about exhaust fumes….I use an asthma inhaler and leaving my window open directly above a congested road (especially with summer on the horizon) is not a pleasant prospect…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My son’s asthma has become increasingly worse, he had to go to hospital a few weeks ago after a bad attack. I’m going to ask our GP to write a letter to send to the council and the Environmental Health Agency.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The two way system has actually reduced speeding traffic along Wharfdale Road. Which used to cause noise and vibrations to the houses along there. The speeding traffic used to literally shake the buildings. Therefore I think the alterations have helped to calm traffic and are a positive.


  7. I drive from Kentish Town to Kings Cross every day. Wharfdale Road is now invariably choked with traffic and the jams back up into York Way. The journey now takes considerably longer. Public transport is very adversely affected because buses are held up in the jams. The junction of York Way and Wharfdale Road is now dangerous with increasing numbers of pedestrians crossing against the lights in the permanent three way jam at this choke point.
    As everyone else has pointed out, the new lane up the Cally is very very rarely in use. It is a 150 yards of expensive and disruptive nonsense
    in road user terms. Presumably professionals were engaged at some point in
    this exercise. Whatever it was supposed to achieve it has failed and continues to fail. What do we have to do to take our rational and demonstrable case to Islington Council? An obstinate refusal to reconsider this failed project could ultimately do real damage to Islington;s reputation as a progressive and responsive Council.


    • Hi Roy,
      Residents have been complaining for nearly 6 months to the council. We have had a meeting at the traffic lights and it was obvious that the scheme isn’t working. But they are making excuse after excuse instead of admitting that they were wrong and reversing it !


    • Hi Roy

      A meeting has been arranged between local residents and representatives from Islington Council on the evening of 8th June. (I will be posting the details here in a day or two). The meeting will have to be restricted to residents, due to the limited space available, but we are grateful for comments from people who work in or visit the area and will raise any issues at the meeting.

      We are still waiting to hear from Islington Council regarding whether or not they undertook an Environmental Impact Assessment prior to making the changes.

      We are also waiting to hear from Transport for London regarding a likely timeline for the removal of the gyratory system – assuming that’s what they decide to do. They are undertaking a feasibility study at the moment, so the decision regarding whether or not to remove the gyratory has not been made yet as far as we are aware.


  8. I am glad to see this campaign is getting stronger and stronger, hope to see as many people as possible at the meeting on June 8th,


  9. I don’t live on the Cally (we used to have an office there) but I use it a lot as I live nearby. The new scheme was expensive and is pretty pointless, as it affects just that tiny stretch of road, so what does the traffic have to gain from it? The whole Kings Cross gyratory system is awful. I once hailed a taxi outside my door in Kings Cross Road and we had to go right round the system and ended up where I had started, at my house, and that rang up £5.00 on the meter! Surely a better system can be devised? What will happen when the Lighthouse Building is finally finished (three years of the pavements being blocked off and unavailable to pedestrians on busy Grays Inn Road and Pentonville Road)? Apparently it will be used as a lorry depot, can you imagine how bad the traffic will be then? I suggest getting on board the doctors’ surgery in Killick Street and asking how the health problems of their patients have increased since the expensive and pointless change.


    • Hi Josephine. The doctors at Killick Street are aware of the problem, but don’t have any hard data available – eg level of respiratory complaints compared with the same period last year.

      I am aware of three asthma sufferers in Wharfdale Rd who have had to increase their medication over the last few months, plus one person who has recently been diagnosed with asthma for the first time.

      I actually saw my doctor this morning about a respiratory complaint. I’ve been a bit ‘wheezy’ on and off over the last couple of weeks, with the occasional sore throat. I had a particularly bad episode on Wednesday – I could hardly walk up the stairs to my flat – I was breathless and had chest pains. I’ve never had anything like this before!

      My doctor said that they saw a lot of people last week with wheezing symptoms that they attributed to a viral infection. She thought that I might have the same thing, and that it could have been made worse by the obvious increase in air pollution in the vicinity. She is supportive of our campaign.


  10. I live and work at Bridge Wharf on the Caledonian Road and have done so for the last 25 years. I have never had such a problem with the noise and fumes coming into our building. Traffic backed up to Copenhagen Street on a Sunday morning waiting for a light to change when no other car is in sight and the it just gets worst the rest of the week.

    Yes, I will be at the meeting.



  11. Comment received from Hywel by email:

    ‘My personal issues with the two way system (as a cyclist) is that there’s not enough clarity to drivers that the street is now 2 way. Twice in the past few months I have had a near miss cycling up the Cally between Caledonia street and Northdown st, when cars in the queue have decided to drive down the wrong side of the street.

    I don’t think the 2 way system has improved anything from a cycling point of view, as it is very risky cutting across York way from the cycle lane on the left to Caledonia st. More often than not, I still cycle up York way and turn right into Wharfedale rd to access Northdown st.’


  12. The comments about the air pollution from air asthma sufferers are very worrying. Looking at this map http://www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/annualmaps.asp, it appears that the lower section of the Caledonian Road is in a triangular air pollution hot spot, bounded by Copenhagen Street on the north side. If I understand the numbers, the EU NO2 safe limit appears to be 40 µg/m3 and the annual average NO2 level is 70 µg/m3.


    • Hi John – yes, I’ve been looking at that site as well, and am going to post something about air pollution tomorrow. Residents have raised various complaints about the negative effects that the introduction of the two-way system has had on the area, but we believe that the almost certain increase in vehicle-related air pollution is the most worrying of these.


  13. I have suffered with a chest infection since Easter and it is still there, as x-ray showed on Tuesday. I also now have a collapsed lung. The high levels of local pollution are definitely not helping my recovery and making it worse!


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