TfL to consult on potential Old Street roundabout land grab this year

TFL will consult this summer on plans to replace Old Street roundabout with a safer junction and work expected to commence next year, according to a TFL spokesperson.

The proposals are part of a wider scheme, Better Junctions, to make 33 dangerous junctions across the capital safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

There have been 70 accidents between cars and cyclists on Old Street roundabout between 1994 and 2012 – 17 serious and one fatal, according to the Department for Transport.

It is not clear if the roundabout will be converted into crossroads, a Dutch-style roundabout with separate lanes for cyclists or a pedestrianised peninsula.

Planning permission must be granted by both Hackney and Islington Councils who have differing views on how the junction should look.

Councillor Caroline Russell (Green) said: “Hackney wants it to be a simple crossroads or a Dutch-style roundabout and Islington want it to make it into a public space” with a “lift shaft in the middle that takes people down into the station.”

However, the Islington Councillor said: “On the surface this is about making the roads work better, but obviously the prize for them is a whole chunk of new development land.”

Plans to improve the Great Eastern Street junction with Shoreditch High Street, which has seen 23 cyclist accidents over the same period, have been ditched.

A TfL spokesman said that 67 junctions that were in the Better Junctions scheme have been temporarily suspended to focus resources on the 33 that remain. However, they will be improved in the future, he said.

Plans to modernise the junction between Old Street and Great Eastern Street – where the Foundry bar once resided  – remain, but are believed to be tied to the construction of the hotel that was granted planning permission by Hackney Council four years ago.

Cyclist and Green Assembly Member Darren Johnson said he supports improvements to the Old Street junction, but that reducing traffic should be a key objective.

He said: “TfL seem wedded to maintaining the current capacity levels of traffic. If that’s your starting point your not going to be able to do anything radical. My objective is that the redesign takes into consideration pedestrian and cycle safety. They’ve dillied and dallied for so many years on this it’s frustrating.”



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