The radical redesign of Old Street roundabout will begin next year after more than one thousand respondents to a public consultation agreed that the plans will transform the area for the better, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians.
The work - a key part of the Mayor and Transport for London's (TfL's) £4 billion Road Modernisation Plan - will convert the existing 1970s roundabout into an attractive new pedestrianised public space, including seating and trees. It will see the north-western 'arm' of the junction by City Road closed and two-way traffic reintroduced to the gateway to 'Tech City' as it becomes a new hub for the thousands of people who live, work and socialise nearby.
Cyclists currently make up almost a third of the vehicles at the roundabout in the morning rush hour, and new cycle lanes - segregated where possible - along with separate signals, will be created for cyclists through the junction, making it much safer. These plans were put out to public consultation last year and in total 87% of people who responded felt that the plans would improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and 63% felt that they would improve conditions for bus and Tube users.
An architect will now be appointed to develop the design of the public space and new station access. Designs will be shared with stakeholders and the public in autumn 2015, and TfL aims to start work on the improvements in early 2016, with the whole area transformed by 2018.
Subject to funding and planning permission, there could also be a new entrance to Old Street Tube station in the future, built in the centre of the new pedestrianised area an enabling the station to be made step-free.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: `We are progressing at full steam with our plans to redesign some of London's most notorious junctions, and Old Street roundabout is one of the key ones we are determined to completely overhaul as quickly as possible. These plans will dramatically improve safety for the thousands of cyclists and pedestrians using the junction and also make it easier to access Tech City, which continues to nurture upcoming technology and creative talent from around the world.'
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: `Londoners have agreed that these plans for a new peninsula with segregated cycle lanes and a new public space will radically upgrade the area and reflect the changing needs of the local community and people travelling through the area. The plans will mean real safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, who are currently involved in 80% of all accidents at Old Street. We will now work to deliver these improvements as quickly as we can to ensure that people can benefit from the transformation of the area as soon as possible.'
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council's executive member for environment and transport, said: `The Old Street roundabout is dangerous and obsolete, and we've lobbied for its removal for many years. We're pleased to see progress on much-needed improvements to the area, which will benefit our community and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians. There are a number of outstanding issues and concerns about the detail of the design and we will work closely with TfL and others on behalf of our residents to help ensure these are resolved.'
TfL's Road Modernisation Plan is a £4 billion scheme to radically improve London's roads by 2021, and is the biggest investment in the Capital's streets for a generation. Hundreds of new projects will transform the look, layout and safety of the existing road network. The schemes will harness state-of-the-art technology, and innovative thinking to make London's roads safer, greener and more attractive.
For more information about the plans for Old Street roundabout, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/old-street-roundabout