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Holborn Circus is a pedestrian's and driver's nightmare. Getting from one side to the other for both car and pedestrian is a feat of endurance and, with cars in particular, often a cause of crashes.

In case you don't know Holborn Circus, it consists of six roads entering a roundabout that is not a roundabout. In fact, if you are on the roundabout, the traffic coming from the side road has right of way if their traffic light is green.

Anyway, as I walked there today (it's where my gym is located) I noticed markings on the ground that seemed to indicate a forthcoming (much-needed) redesign.

First we have the view looking north from St Andrew's Hill. The white lines moving from right up to left look to be where the new road will be.

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Below is the picture of St Andrew's Hill itself. As you can see, it will be blocked off from Holborn Circus, heading left instead to the top of Fetter Lane.

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Below is a view from the east side of the circus, looking south-west towards the entrance to New Fetter Lane. To the left of the curving white line, all will be pavement. The road itself from St Andrew's Hill (on the left of the picture) will curve round behind the left-most tree.

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Finally, below is a view looking south (St Andrew's Hill is straight ahead, to the right of St Andrew's Church, while High Holborn, heading towards the Bridge over Farringdon Road, is on the left. On the sharp left is Charterhouse St).

There are fewer changes on this north side, although Hatton Garden appears to be narrowed to a single lane (my guess would be exit only from the Circus).

The major changes on the north side are a significant extension of the pavements in two places (if you look to the right of the left-most traffic cone, the white line indicates how far the pavement will be extended at the exit from Charterhouse St onto the Circus. A similar extension will occur on the right-hand side (entrance side) of Charterhouse St, where it ajoins the current entrance to the Circus from Hatton Garden)

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The net impact of all this will block off two entrances to the Circus -- St Andrew's Hill, which will curve round into New Fetter Lane before entering the Circus, and Hatton Garden, which will become exit only (and a narrow exit at that).

That should make the traffic light layout far simpler and far more efficient. TBH, the best thing that they could do would be to move the statue in the middle! But I suspect that English Heritage or someone would object. For a start, Holborn Circus would cease to be a circus. Some might thing that would not be a bad thing.

UPDATE:

Some more pictures of the Circus to expand the indication of what will happen.


Below. Looking south from between Hatton Garden and Charterhouse St towards New Fetter Lane. The white line indicates how far the pavement will be extended.

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Below. On Hatton Garden, once again looking south to New Fetter Lane. The yellow lines show how far the entrance to Hatton Garden will be narrowed. Presumably it will be northbound only for a short way.

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Below:

Between Charterhouse St and Holborn Viaduct, looking west towards High Holborn. An indication as to how far the pavement will be extended

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Below: The "DK" indicates the new pedestrian crossings. This one is the crossing of Holborn Viaduct westbound. Looking north to Hatton Garden.

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Below: Taken from New Fetter Lane looking north to Hatton Garden (left) and Charterhouse St (right). This shows how foreshortened the pavement will be. The "new" road will lead from St Andrew's Hill direct into New Fetter Lane. (BTW, "New" Fetter Lane is about 100 years old. "Old" Fetter Lane is about 100 yards west up High Holborn.

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Below. Looking East to the top of St Andrew's Hill. Everything to the left of the white line will be road. The dotted line on the left indicates the pedestrian crossing/ traffic light. As you can see, the building work has already begun on St Andrew's Hill.

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Below. From New Fetter Lane looking north to Haton Garden and Charterhouse St. Pavement to be extended significantly (white line coming from front of taxi and then bending left) with pedestrioan crossing moved north.

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Below:
Another shot from roughly the same spot, showing where the new crossing across High Holborn will be.

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Below: Looking south from the middle of High Holborn to New Fetter Lane, indicating from another viewpoint the extension of the pavement and the placement of the new pedestrian crossing area.


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Below: From north side of High Holborn, with Hatton Garden on my left, Chartehouse St ahead to the left and Holborn Viaduct ahead to the right.

 photo 2013-05-16125132.jpg

August 2017

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