After more than 18 months of construction work at Whipps Cross roundabout in north east London motorists will soon find themselves at a new T-junction at Whipps Cross Interchange, with all traces of the old roundabout removed.
The new fully signalled T-junction has been created as part of Waltham Forest Council’s Enjoy Waltham Forest programme which has seen £17million invested along Lea Bridge Road. The improvements from the borough boundary with Hackney to the new Whipps Cross Interchange include fully segregated cycle tracks along the four kilometre length of road, 52 new blended crossings with residential side roads, 33 improved bus stops, nine new pedestrian and cyclist controlled crossings, seven new and improved signalised junctions, a new pocket park at Whitney Road and 54 new trees planted so far with at least a further 140 new trees to be planted along Lea Bridge Road by the end of March, including 70 in and around the new Interchange itself.
The former Whipps Cross Roundabout, close to Whipps Cross Hospital, is used by approximately 30,000 motor vehicles and 1,500 cyclists every day.
For the past 18 months the roundabout has continued to operate behind hoardings and barriers while workers built new segregated cycle lanes along the Lea Bridge Road section of the interchange together with a new bus interchange, providing increased capacity at bus stops and additional stands helping to improve passengers’ experience.
From Saturday 19 January road users will start using the new signalled junction, and buses will begin to use the new Interchange area, allowing workers to complete the remaining works surrounding the new road layout including segregated cycle lanes on all sides of the Interchange, as well as new green spaces in time for the spring.
Some 1,800 square metres of quality and accessible land, will be returned to Epping Forest, the largest return of land in decades.
Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, visited the new Interchange ahead of the switch over. He said: “The Enjoy Waltham Forest programme has been ambitious throughout, we’ve created new pedestrianised high streets, widened bridges over live railway lines and this is our latest accomplishment, reconfiguring an outdated and outmoded Whipps Cross roundabout into a modern Interchange which will allow all road users to access the area safely and with confidence.
“I look forward to seeing the works concluded, including seeing former road space returned to the Forest this Spring.”
Nigel Hardy, Transport for London's Head of Programme Sponsorship, said: “Creating Healthy Streets which enable people to walk, cycle and use public transport is vital to tackling London’s toxic air whilst supporting growth across the capital. Adding protected cycling space to Whipps Cross Interchange will reduce danger to the most vulnerable road users and the new bus interchange will make it even easier to use public transport to travel around the borough and beyond.
“We’ll continue to work closely with Waltham Forest Council on our investment in the borough so we can build on the impressive changes we’ve seen so far.”
Over the next few months the finishing touches will be made at the junction and it is expected that all the works will be completed by spring 2019.