|From:||Old Street Station (TQ326826)|
|To:||Highbury Corner (TQ315847)|
|Distance:||1.6 miles (2.6 km)|
|Meets:||A501, B101, B144, B102, A104, A1199, A1,|
|Route outline (key)|
The A1200 provides a link from the City of London to Highbury, beginning off the inner London ring-road, the A501, just north of the big Old Street roundabout (that is the junction with the A5201). For northbound traffic it begins with Provost Street; there is no left turn into this road (although this turn would be almost going back on yourself) so you would probably use the B144 Shepherdess Walk then turn into Nile Street, or just remain on the B144 until it joins in later. The main road then bends from Provost Street into Vestry Street while Provost Street continues for local use only. Southbound traffic uses East Road, which joins the A501 further east.
At this point we are heading due north and even slightly towards the east, which is not the main direction we will be going, which is north-west. This change of direction happens only when East Road (now two-way) meets New North Road on the right. There is no entry into New North Road other than for cycles, but it is the end of the short B101 which starts at Pitfield Street where the A5201 Old Street meets the A1202 Commercial Street.
Going "ahead" the road is also called New North Road, so it would appear the original road was intended as one route but they restricted this route and East Road was the chosen diversion. Having said that, the route of the A1200 followed East Road back in 1922.
As we progress, the B144 merges in from the left and there is no entry into that either. Shepherdess Walk itself became two-way a few years ago but there is a small one-way section where it becomes Eagle Wharf Road and meets New North Road.
The one B-road you can turn into is Baring Road, the B102, which bends into Southgate Road and also provides the access route to Hoxton (some other routes are red herrings as they love closing them off to through traffic), and which you may need to use to get to the A104 ahead because there is no right turn. When you do reach that junction, it is called Essex Road and the station of that name will be on the left just beyond the lights. Both branches of Essex Road get their own green phase and there is also an all-pedestrian phase.
When we do finally get across the road becomes Canonbury Road and has a different feel to it; in fact it feels far more residential now, with small residential roads coming off on both sides including a junction with Canonbury Square. If your target is either the B515 Liverpool Road or the A1201 for Highbury you might turn here (or even a bit earlier) to avoid the Highbury Corner roundabout where both "straight ahead" and left are the A1, so actually the A1 TOTSOs a bit here. Coming off Highbury Corner, they direct traffic for the City and Shoreditch along the A1 and not on this more direct route, even though it is an A-road, presumably in favour of a primary route.
The route we have taken is also matched by two stops on the GN-Electrics line from Old Street to Highbury & Islington (with Essex Road the station in between, of course).