Tech City - Old Street Roundabout

Old Street roundabout. Photograph: Tech City

Old Street’s “Silicon Roundabout” – so called because of its proximity to Shoreditch’s numerous tech start-ups – is to be scrapped, possibly as soon as next year.

Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s Adviser on cycling, made the comments about the Old Street roundabout during the Hackney Cycling conference last Friday.

Transport for London is proposing to remove the existing roundabout and to create a peninsula with improved pedestrian access to Old Street station and safer cycle facilities.

Green London Assembly member, Darren Johnson, has welcomed the plans to transform the busy roundabout – a notoriously dangerous spot for cyclists.

He said: “These big roundabouts and one way systems are unsafe relics of bad road design. If we want the area around Old Street to be for people, rather than simply for cars and lorries, then we need to get rid of the roundabout and reduce the traffic.”

“The main feedback I got from local people is the hope that the Mayor fast-tracks the start of the consultation on how to replace the roundabout and make the area a safe and friendly place for people to use on foot, or on bike.”

But the Hackney Cycle Campaign, the local branch of the London Cycle Campaign (LCC), told the Hackney Citizen that it opposes the proposals for the transformation of Old Street roundabout. Trevor Parsons, co-ordinator of the campaign, said:

“We oppose TfL’s peninsularisation plan for the junction of Old Street and City Road. It would result in an unnecessarily complex layout and a disjointed urban form, with Hackney’s quarter of the land permanently lost to the corner-cutting inner ring road.

“We have long favoured returning to a crossroads layout, which would enable the simplest and most direct arrangements for walking and cycling, and encourage well proportioned development on all four corners.

“TfL has given various reasons for opposing a crossroads over the years, varying from traffic capacity to the location of sewers and lifts, but no detailed evaluation of the option has ever been published.”

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