An open call for design ideas has been launched by Islington Council to create an “iconic gateway” for Old Street, as TfL announced that work to transform the whole area will begin late next year.
The 1960s roundabout will undergo a major transformation as part of work by the Mayor of London and Transport for London, in partnership with Islington and Hackney Councils.
As part of the wider transformation, the roundabout will be removed to create a safer and more pleasant layout, including segregated cycle lanes and traffic signals, and the reintroduction of two-way traffic in line with the Mayor’s Healthy Streets Approach. The north-western "arm" of the roundabout will be permanently closed, creating a new pedestrianised public space while new surface-level pedestrian crossings will be introduced.
The initial plans were backed by Londoners in a public consultation, which received strong support. Once the final design is completed by summer 2018 construction will follow later that year – with the majority of the construction work taking place throughout 2019.
“This work is going to make a real difference to Old Street, making it a more pleasant and safer place for pedestrians and cyclists," commented London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman.
“It’s exactly the type of improvements that we want to see happening right across the Capital as we encourage Londoners to travel actively for the good of their health and our air quality. The area is renowned for its innovation so I can’t wait to see the range of creative ideas that will be sent to Islington to make the most of the new public space we are creating.”
Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport Cllr Claudia Webbe added: "The transformation of Old Street will hugely improve the area for pedestrians, public transport users, cyclists and people who live and work nearby. Old Street is an iconic location known around the world, and a powerful symbol of what is also known as Tech City. This is a unique opportunity for an exciting, bold, iconic gateway – we are looking for innovative and inspiring ideas, which tap into the pioneering spirit of creativity for which Old Street is so famous."
In response to the original consultation on the Old Street proposals, 87 per cent of respondents believed that the proposals would improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and 63 per cent believed that bus and Tube passengers would also benefit.