Plea for innovative ideas for Old Street roundabout redesign

An artists impression of what the roundabout could look like. Pic: TfL

“An open call” for creative ideas has been launched by Islington and Hackney Councils to help redesign the centre of Old Street’s iconic roundabout.

The competition is encouraging ideas from different disciplines, including architecture, art and technology. It is part of an effort by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Transport for London and Hackney and Islington Councils to transform the wider area.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “The radical redesign of Old Street roundabout will help achieve our shared objectives of improved air quality, reduced car dependency and more active travel.”

The open call for design ideas will ensure the vast array of creative talent that exists in London, especially in the Old Street area, can play a part in re-designing the area so that the local community, and people who work in or visit the area, benefit from a truly inspiring new public space.”

Old Street roundabout as it looks today. Pic: Jack Torcello.

Old Street roundabout, also known as Silicon Roundabout,  lies between the border of Islington and Hackney, in an area that has acquired the nickname “Tech City” due to the vast number of start-ups based there. The junction, which was first developed in the 1960’s, will be converted as part of a wider planned highway transformation that seeks to reintroduce two-way traffic.

The proposed plans also include permanently closing the northwest section of the roundabout to create a pedestrian space and improving facilities for cyclists with separate cycle lanes and traffic signals. A new main entrance with better pedestrian access to Old Street station will also be redone. Most of the construction work will commence beginning 2019.

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Transport and Parks said: “Old Street is a busy and dangerous area for pedestrians and cyclists, and I’m looking forward to work starting so that the junction can be made safer for everyone.”

The call follows a public consultation, where 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.

The deadline for project ideas is on January 29th, 2018, which will be followed by a public exhibition in March. The work will be fully funded by Islington Council. Guidelines can be found on their website.

Leave a Reply