It has two linked roundabouts and flyovers, which connect the A406 North Circular Road with the A5 Edgware Road and the start of the M1 motorway. Also running through Staples Corner, between the two roundabouts, is the Midland Main Line and Thameslink railway line.
Staples Corner is named after the Staples Mattress factory, which was at the road junction from 1926 to 1986. Harold Heal commissioned the designing and building of the factory.
The Staples Corner junction was built in accordance with plans from the 1960s to continue the M1 further south to West Hampstead. These proposals, part of the London Ringways Plan, would have seen a three level junction with the M1 as the middle level crossing above the roundabout on a flyover and passing under the A406 flyover. South of the junction the motorway would have headed through Cricklewood on an elevated roadway to meet the North Cross Route section of the London Motorway Box (Ringway 1) at an elevated Y-shaped junction. Most of the Ringways Plan including the North Cross Route was cancelled in 1973.
On 11 April 1992, a Provisional IRA van bomb exploded underneath the A406 flyover, causing serious damage to roads and nearby buildings and causing the closure of the junction. Another bomb exploded near the junction on 8 October 1993, causing damage but no injuries.
The B&Q DIY store damaged by the bomb (on the site of the original mattress factory) was demolished, and replaced by a branch of the appropriately named Staples office supplies. There is a large retail park at Staples Corner, located between the A5 and the railway line. Close by is the Brent Cross Shopping Centre, named after the A406 and A41 road junction.
The format of the Staples Corner junction was modified during the reconstruction works necessitated by the bombings. An additional sliproad onto the M1 from the east was added to remove the need for traffic coming from that direction to travel around the roundabout to access the motorway.
In spring 2008, a planning application was submitted to develop the Brent Cross area into a new town centre, on both sides of the North Circular Road. The Staples Corner junction would be completely redesigned, with no south-bound A5 to west-bound North Circular Road travel, and no east-bound North Circular to south-bound A5 travel possible, except by using new roads at the eastern side of the M1 motorway junction.
- Apex Corner – images of Staples Corner
- Brent Cross planning application
- Alternative transport plans for Staples Corner area