Welcome to the Better Archway Forum Web Site
Archway is a lively London village.
We have independent shops and cafes, a swimming pool, library, hospital, internationally acclaimed art school. There are also fantastic transport links with tube and overground stations, plus 14 different bus routes, not to mention the spot where Dick Whittington and his cat turned again to become Lord Mayor of London.
Archway’s boundaries are Dartmouth Park Hill to the west, Hornsey Lane to the north, Hazelville Road to the east, and Fairbridge Road and the Upper Holloway railway line to the south.
The Forum is a community organisation which works for everyone with an interest in Archway, whether they live, work or run a company here.
Our aim is to make Archway an even better place to live, work and play.
We have started and support projects that improve the quality of life in the area, and work to empower the community in sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to help make it a place where people can live, work and relax safely and successfully.
We have worked with local organisations and Islington council on a wide range of projects from greening to protecting historic buildings, improving air quality, and reducing carbon our footprint.
Vorley Road Development
LB Islington is planning to build three blocks of housing on the Vorley Road bus stand and site of the old Neighbourhood Office, half as much needed social housing and half for private sale.
Unfortunately building costs are rising fast and going over four storeys triples the build cost. What is more, the small flats planned for sale are not what those who can afford to buy are seeking. A third of the flats built by LB Islington in King's Square in the south of the borough are still on the market after two years, and sales have required discounts.
Like many councils Islington is short of money and seeking new income sources. But as things stand, this kind of scheme could go badly wrong, especially as existing new build flats in Archway are not selling.
The densest housing is in street properties of around four storeys which on this site could provide all the proposed social housing (with disabled access), proposed GP practice and new library without any of the financial risk of the private element. The cost of the social housing would be covered by rentals in just 12 years, leaving the borough with a profit from then on.
Revisiting the viability of the scheme would seem more than wise, particularly given that the current proposals would create wind blight around it, affecting both the Early Years Centre and the proposed new playground.
Arts Centre Proposal
After time spent finding organisations to back it and producing the worked up plans, there is now a planning application to turn the old Methodist Hall/Cinema into a community arts centre.
The idea is to make use of the building's original purpose, which was to be a welcoming place for everyone, with a wide range of activities in a layout including a performance space, projection rooms, cafe/restaurant, rehearsal areas and more.
The proposals include reducing the carbon footprint of the building by 70%, while keeping its original appearance and as much as possible of the internal and external detailing.
The Road Layout
The number one problem in Archway, according to community consultations for more than a decade has been the road layout and the impact of traffic. TfL’s scheme, rejected by 75% of respondents in consultation, shows significant problems when assessed against the main objectives:
Motor traffic to keep to the roads hierarchy with most vehicles on the main roads. But traffic including HGVs is now displaced to side roads
Improving southbound bus interchange to equal that northbound. Now northbound interchange is as bad as southbound so potential visitors, including shoppers, actively avoid the area
Shortening pedestrian transit times across the centre. Even TfL calculations show longer transit times, particularly to reach bus stops.
Separating cyclists from pedestrian and motor traffic, especially the HGVs that make up only 4% of motor traffic but are involved in 50% of cyclist deaths But cyclists are taken close to the sharp turns of the A1 and have frequently to give way to other traffic, motor and pedestrian.
Still lacking is:
Public transport serving points of demand ie terminating routes running to the Hospital northbound and Archway Market and Upper Holloway station southbound.
All buses travelling to the same destination (Archway Road or Highgate for example) leaving from the same stop.
For more information about Archway’s shops, services, history, children’s activities and more visit www.livinginarchway.org.uk.