Update June 2015
Our consultation on proposals to transform the Old Street roundabout ran from 11 November – 11 January 2015. We received over 1,300 responses to the consultation and found:
87 per cent of respondents felt the proposed changes would improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists
63 per cent of respondents felt the scheme would improve conditions for bus and tube passengers.
There were however some concerns about the effects the scheme might have on traffic: 45 per cent of respondents did not know what effect the scheme might have on motorists and 28 per cent felt it might make conditions worse for these users
There were a wide a range of written comments, including a number of different suggestions for what use we might make of a new peninsula space that would be created.
Having considered all of the issues that were raised, we have decided to proceed with the scheme.
An Urban Realm and Station Access Design commission is underway, and we hope that the outcome of their work could be shared with the public and other stakeholders in autumn 2015. Work could begin on the scheme in early 2016.
We have published a Consultation Report which sets out the issues raised in the consultation and our responses to these.
Details of the original consultation are included below
What we proposed?
We proposed closing the north-western ‘arm’ of the roundabout. This would create a new peninsula space by incorporating the existing central island of the roundabout into the surrounding footway.
The remainder of the junction would be redesigned to be simple and straight-forward to use. We would provide new cycle lanes and crossings throughout the junction, some of which would be segregated from vehicles, and would install cycle-only signals.
We would improve conditions for pedestrians with new pedestrian crossings as an alternative to the existing subways, one of which would be closed. We would provide greater footway space and remove obstructive street furniture wherever possible.
This consultation was your chance to give us your views.
Why did we propose this?
Although cyclists make up almost a third of all vehicles at Old Street roundabout in the morning rush-hour, there are currently limited cycle facilities.
Pedestrians must currently use one of the four subways to access Old Street station. These subways can be unattractive to our passengers, especially at night. We would close one of these subways and provide surface level crossings and a new station entrance.
Collisions involving vulnerable road users
Between February 2010 and January 2013, there were 44 collisions in the vicinity of the roundabout which resulted in injury to people. More than 80 per cent of these involved a pedestrian or cyclist. Our proposals are aimed at dramatically improving this situation.
Improving the urban environment
Closing the north-western ‘arm’ of the roundabout provides an opportunity to create a new public space with improved planting in the short term. In the medium and longer term, proposed upgrades to the Old Street station would mean more changes and improvements to the area.
An indicative layout is included in this consultation and we welcome feedback and suggestions for how the space could be best used.
New developments are planned
Old Street roundabout forms the centre point of London’s “tech city”, an area undergoing extensive regeneration which would significantly increase the number of people visiting and passing through Old Street. Our proposals include new surface level pedestrian crossings and a new station entrance to accommodate forecast numbers of users
The Old Street roundabout is a complex, multiple-lane roundabout. It links the A5201 Old Street and A501 City Road and forms a part of London’s Inner Ring Road. It provides a route for traffic heading north to the M1, south to the City and London Bridge, west to London’s West End and east to Canary Wharf and City Airport.
The photograph below, looking north over the roundabout towards City Road, shows the current layout of the roundabout.
The current layout of the Old Street roundabout
Closure of the north west 'arm' of the roundabout
We also proposed to close the north-west ‘arm’ of the roundabout, which would radically change how this junction would operate. Changes would include:
The introduction of two-way traffic around the new peninsula, with clear signals, road markings and signs to assist all road users,
New cycle lanes on all arms of the new junction which would be fully segregated wherever possible,
New cycle-only signals,
New surface level pedestrian crossings and the closure of one of the four existing subways,
Widening the bus lane on Old Street eastbound to improve provision for cyclists,
The provision of a new loading bay to assist retailers in the area,
New cycle parking and improved Barclays Cycle Hire facilities,
Providing wider footways and, where possible, removing unnecessary street furniture,
Building a new entrance to the London Underground station in the centre of the new peninsula,
Changing all bus lane operating hours to 24 hours a day,
Creation of a new public space on the peninsula, ahead of future changes proposed as part of the Underground station upgrade.
Introducing new plantings and other improvements.
To ensure the new road layout operates efficiently, we would need to ban the right turn from Old Street onto City Road southbound. The map below highlights what changes would be made to the roundabout:
For a larger version of this map click here
The new peninsula
Our proposed changes would create a new large central peninsula at Old Street. As part of our works, we proposed to build a new station entrance on the peninsula and to transform this space so that it is more pleasant to spend time in.
In the medium-term, however, we would need to undertake works to upgrade Old Street station. It is important that our changes to the roundabout do not hinder the works that would be required in the future. We foresee that the new peninsula could develop in three main stages:
We suggest that until the early 2020s the peninsula could feature a new public space with a small number of retail units. The space would also include a new entrance to Old Street station. This is shown in the artist’s impression below:
A new peninsula and station entrance
For a larger version of this picture click here
We also welcomed feedback and suggestions for how the space could be best used in the short term.
Old Street station lies beneath the area where the new peninsula would be created. From the early 2020s it would be necessary to undertake significant works to the station in order to provide additional capacity for passengers; in addition to other improvements, such as step-free access. These works would require areas of the peninsula to be closed while the improvements were completed.
The new space provided by the peninsula gives us the long term opportunity to consider the possibilities of a new development at Old Street, built over the refurbished station. The development would provide us with significant additional resources that would be used to fund public transport improvements in London.
We do not have any specific plans and any new development at Old Street would go through the usual planning approval processes as well as proposals being made publicly available.
Subject to the outcome of this consultation work could start in late 2015. It is likely that the work would involve significant disruption to the road network in the local area, although we would try to reduce this as much as possible. We would also write to local residents, businesses and road users before starting work.
Why aren't we proposing a return to a crossroads arrangement at Old Street roundabout?
Before the introduction of the roundabout in the 1960s, the junction of the A5201 and A501 formed a crossroads at Old Street. We considered whether re-introducing this arrangement would make the junction easier and safer to use by pedestrians, cyclists and others. Among the issues we considered were:
Old Street station lies beneath the central island at the roundabout, and so would lie directly beneath the centre of a new crossroads here. Without direct pedestrian access to the station, it would be very difficult to introduce step-free access to the redeveloped Old Street station.
The crossroads would need to be very large in order to accommodate the high number of vehicles that use it. Journey times through the junction for pedestrian and cyclists would be greater with a crossroads arrangement, and it is very likely that the area would continue to feel intimidating to these users.
After careful review, we have decided that providing a crossroads at this location would not deliver the necessary improvements to the area.
What impacts will the proposals have on traffic flow?
We will take a number of steps to ensure that the changes we make at Old Street are balanced. Journey times through the junction for motorists and bus, coach and taxi passengers are likely to change slightly. We will continue to review and amend traffic signal timings at nearby junctions to ensure that the congestion in the Old Street area is minimised.
TfL is developing wider traffic management plans for central London to help reduce the traffic impacts of this scheme and others, including those proposed by London local authorities and developers. This would include investing in advanced traffic signal technology to allow us to better manage traffic depending on differing conditions at any given time. There would also be customer information to enable road users to make informed journey choices and campaigns to encourage road users to check before they travel.
Want to find out more?
This consultation is one of several we are undertaking on schemes that will transform dangerous junctions across London. For further details about these projects, please visit https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/
More detailed information on the traffic impacts that our scheme might have can be found here
For information about the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling, click here
For information about work to support walking, click here
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