Our long, arduous campaign was successful. The affected stretch of Caledonian Road has been returned to one-way traffic, and the traffic lights at the junction of Wharfdale and Caledonian Roads replaced with pedestrian-controlled crossings. 

We now await news from TfL regarding potential changes to the whole King’s Cross gyratory system. We will not accept the re-installment of the traffic lights, and are hoping that Wharfdale Road will be made available for access and cyclists only.

Hello, this website has been created to support our campaign to persuade Islington Council to return to a one-way system on the stretch of Caledonian Road between Wharfdale Road and Caledonia Street.

At the moment, this urgent matter is our main concern. In the future, we hope to use this site to address other matters affecting the area.

We know that many residents are angry about the problems that the council has caused in the area, but it is going to be difficult to persuade them to make the changes that we want.

Please be part of the campaign. You can help by subscribing to this blog, leaving comments and following us on Twitter!

20 thoughts on “ABOUT

  1. I have lived in Battlebridge Court for 20 years and I have never seen traffic jams in Wharfdale Road as frequent as they have been since the introduction of the two way system and traffic lights between Wharfdale Road and Caledonia Street. It seems to me that these changes have created a problem where there wasn’t one previously and only a pitifully small amount of traffic avails itself of the new northbound route from the junction of Caledonia Street and Cally Road. It is hard to conceive how the traffic modelling of the experts could not have predicted this problem.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I Have lived on Wharfdale Road for 30 years and traffic has always been a problem, the sheer amount of it because this little road is part of the A501 ring road, the speed of it and the dangerous conflict it sets up between pedestrians and traffic in this densely populated area. We need people to join a sustained campaign to get the gyratory removed which would take Wharfdale Road out of the gyratory all together. I applaud the councils approach in working to put pressure on TfL to put people first by bringing in the 20 mile an hour speed limit and making the south end of the Cally two way. A short sighted approach to making it one way again won’t solve the fundamental problems we face. If only we could all unite in the anti gyratory campaign to address this once and for all…


  3. I have lived in the area for a similar time to Mike and I have to agree with him that this is the worst I have ever seen the traffic on wharfdale rd, Caledonian rd. also I remember a recent conversation with Leo and his wife who ran the recently closed Continental Stores. Leo said that his store opened in 1965 and this was the worst they had ever seen the traffic.

    While I’m not against proposed gyratory system, like Mike I have to ask the question why are we in this mess – could not the the experts have foreseen this problem when they were doing their modelling – did they make a mistake ? Or did they see what the problems would be but decided to go ahead regardless because they wanted to make TFL submit and felt that winning that fight was more important long term than the impact on the current negative impact on the community.

    The question is what if TFL don’t do what the council wants added to which given our current experience of the council’s modelling how confident are we that it will be a real improvement even if they do

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nigel,

      For me the question has to be taken in light of a campaign for change. We campaign to win it. If we lose we go back to where we were before. The long running campaign to remove the gyratory has potentially been fatally harmed by the campaign to get Islington to revert back to one way working at the south end of the Cally now, before the impact of its action allied to the work being done by local residents and supporters has had a chance to make a difference. It feels like the experience of left leaning groups splitting rather than becoming an alliance, a real force for change, only on a much smaller scale obviously! We had made so much headway, we won on TfL taking immediate short term action on the big junction at Euston, Grays Inn and Pentonville Roads and York Way, we won on improvements to York Way and we won on getting TfL to commit to reviewing the potential for redesigning the gyratory – that last is still to happen. And it’s that last we need to push on. It’s an open door now that so much hard work has been done. Its terribly, terribly disheartening for all of us that have been campaigning so hard and so long to get fundamental change to take the majority of the traffic off the little residential roads including Wharfdale Road, Acton and Swinton Streets. The things we’ve won have been because we’ve united as a community. To lose all that now is so heartbreaking I find it hard to put into words.


      • Hi Sophie
        This campaign has nothing to do with TFL or the gyratory. The council should be ashamed of the chaos and misery they have caused by this unbelievably bad scheme.
        They obviously did not do an environmental impact assessment or a noise assessment.
        My house is shaking right now due to the traffic. Every night my bedroom is filled with exhaust fumes. The noise is so deafening – over 80dBl many times per hour, (anything over 55 is harmful), that I have had to barricade myself in- furniture pushed in front of my bedroom window and foam and duvet over my front window.
        We are woken dozens of times each night by squeaking brakes and bus engines and beeping and music out of windows. My son’s asthma has become.worse and we had to take him to hospital a few weeks ago. My husband and I have lived here for 20 years and never noticed the traffic. We never even had curtains. It is the council’s responsibility to protect it’s residents from traffic noise and pollution- not cause it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is self evident the changes to Wharfdale Road traffic routing have been a complete failure. The health of residents has suffered and the increase in heavy goods vehicles has caused unprecedented levels of noise and other pollution. I’m at a loss to see how it is constructive to raise the spectre of a devided political left in this context or to emote on the subject of supposed lack community cohesiveness. The community is united and clear: the level of traffic on Wharfdale Road is unsustainable and this must change.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve just read Tony and Ewa’s posts and I have to agree with them. What we’re talking about here is nothing to do with the gyratory system or the left – its about the council making some poor decisions and what we’re experiencing in our every days lives as a result and it’s about changing what has suddenly and needlessly become an uncomfortable and for some if not all of our community become an unhealthy environment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is important to see the Islington move to two way working in the context of the campaign for removal of the gyratory because that is the reason for Islington’s actions. It is important to realise the traffic hasn’t increased because of Islington’s changes and that’ll be evidenced by traffic counts. You guys are quite right, it will be important to have the evidence showing changes to air quality and health as a result of slowing traffic on Wharfdale Road and the impact on air quality across the local road system. We so desperately need to get A501 ring road traffic off our residential streets not just for people on Wharfdale Road but for our neighbours on Acton, Swinton and all the many other streets suffering the health and safety dangers imposed on us by the 70s hangover that is the King’s Cross gyratory. Good luck with your campaign, it’s always good to see community action no matter what.


      • PS: You may be interested in the planned TfL consultation event this summer…

        TfL Plans for King’s Cross
        Phase 3 – King’s Cross Gyratory
        Feasibility study

        Work has started on a feasibility study in partnership with the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington, which will focus on the following roads:

        A201 Penton Rise, King’s Cross Road
        A501 Pentonville Road, Gray’s Inn Road, Acton Street, Swinton Street
        A5202 Pancras Road, Midland Road, Goods Way
        A5203 Caledonian Road, Wharfdale Road
        A5200 York Way

        We held focus groups with representatives from cycling and pedestrian groups, as well as local resident and business groups, in 2011. The feedback has been considered as part of the feasibility study. A number of design options are being developed, and we aim to discuss the options with representative groups.

        Following these discussions, we will further develop our options and hold a public consultation in summer 2015.


      • Hi Sophie

        We are aware of the campaign to remove the gyratory, and that a feasibility study is taking place. We are also aware that it could be some time before (if) the gyratory is removed.

        In the meantime, we have had six months of hell on Wharfdale Road and Caledonian Road, and little in the way of either explanation or solutions from Islington Council – who seem to be denying that there is a problem. It is this denial, arrogance and lack of concern for the health and well-being of residents that is angering people, coupled with an uncertainty about when or if the situation will improve.

        That the implementation of the two-way system would cause problems was entirely predictable. Islington Council went ahead despite this. Gambling with the health of residents is no way to conduct a campaign, even if the long-term aim is desirable.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. this is truly a matter of concern. as last night a long heavy traffic on wharfdale road at 2am which was ridiculously busy . I could not even get through to park my car at the residential car par due to idle traffic.after waiting so long I had to give up and park along side.lucky it was early hours Sunday.I am very worried especially for weekdays,also parking spaces are over filled now days!


  5. Whilst the traffic levels on Wharfdale Road are much higher and frequently stacked up, I think that I could live with this temporarily if it meant that the Kings Cross gyratory was removed all together in the future.
    Sophie, do you have details of any other existing campaigns that address this?


    • I can’t live with this, I haven’t been living , I’ve been coping. I am right by the traffic light and my family and I haven’t had a moment’s peace. The noise is deafening every 2 minutes. The exhaust fumes are filling the house.


      • I’m not against removing the gyratory but I can’t wait 6 years or 6 months for tfl to remove it. I want my life back.


    • Hi Ramon,

      Kingscrossenvironment.com carries news about the campaign, click on the Bad Gyrations link. Both Islington and Camden councils are involved, contact your transport lead to see what they’re doing. The two way working at the south end of the Cally is part of the campaign. Albert at Housmans has the cycling contacts and shares news about the cycling flash events. The GLA Opposition parties have all been very supportive, particularly the Greens with Jenny Jones joining the cycling flash events. The Times has been supportive too taking a lead on reporting the safety angle. The more people that ask TfL what’s happening the better as it highlights public support for removal, if you’re able to press them for details about the promised consultation event this summer that’d be great:kingscrossgyratory@tfl.gov.uk



      • Hi Sophie

        I have contacted TfL for information – they haven’t yet responded to me.

        I’ve also contacted Islington Council asking for a copy of the Environmental Impact Assessment that they should have carried out before implementing the two-way scheme – they haven’t responded either.

        Our local councillors claim on their website that ‘Islington Council has taken the first steps towards removing the hated Kings Cross gyratory system by returning the Caledonian Road to 2-way traffic.

        They then contradict themselves in the same article by saying that ‘Most of the system is controlled by Transport for London under the direction of Mayor Johnson. But Caledonian Road is an Islington Borough Road not a TfL one. So whilst TfL threatens years of delay before it removes the gyratories, in Islington we’ve decided to take the bold step of removing the one section of the gyratory that we control. We hope TfL takes notice.’

        You say yourself that ‘The two way working at the south end of the Cally is part of the campaign’.

        Which is my point entirely. As I said in a previous post ‘That the implementation of the two-way system would cause problems was entirely predictable. Islington Council went ahead despite this. Gambling with the health of residents is no way to conduct a campaign, even if the long-term aim is desirable.’

        Perhaps you and the other people in favour of what the council has done would like to justify yourselves to the asthma sufferers in Wharfdale Road who have had to increase their medication.


  6. My son is struggling to breathe in his own home due to the exhaust fumes. He is often blue around his nose and mouth.
    I have just bought a second air purifier to try and make him more comfortable. I know of 3 other residents whose health has deteriorated. I’m sure there’s many more.


  7. I am a Resident of cally south & I would like someone who cares, to fix this problem straight away. Air & noise pollution makes me feel less healthy &


  8. Whilst I am happy for someone to look at a full scale gyratory change for Kings X, doing something unilateral like this is plain bonkers. What has happened is exactly what I thought would happen, if I could work it out why couldn’t others?

    To be honest, the traffic in Kings X is always going to be bad. We live right on the edge of the Congestion Zone, next to one of the biggest transport hubs in Europe. We all benefit from this, as well as the numerous bus routes. The best way to make it work it to move traffic on as quickly as possible.

    Essentially the lower part of Cally Rd from Wharfedale down to the Scala is one big holding pen, and not that pen has been thinned out and spread back up Cally Road and along Wharfedale. Yet it has not really eased the situation at the bottom of Cally Road either, so why piss more poeple off? I would argue far more people live at the top and those that moved in at the bottom knew what they were moving into.

    I look forward to getting this reversed which I’m confident we can do.

    I also look forward to proposals for changes to the WHOLE gyratory system if / when they should come.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. I go south on the Cally Road every morning between 8 and 8.30. I virtually never see traffic going north. It’s obvious that the decision to make the road two-way has simply funnelled the same traffic into a smaller number of lanes. For weeks I assumed that the northwards lane wasn’t operational as there was no traffic at all! This needs an integrated approach not a one-street solution that solves nothing. Paul


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