Work to transform major junction in capital will begin late next year

Islington Council has launched a call for design ideas for an “iconic gateway” for Old Street as Transport for London (TfL) announced that the go-ahead has been given to the transformation of the roundabout.

In recent years, the area around the junction has acquired the nickname “tech city” due to the number of start-ups based there, and the overhaul of the junction to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians is seen by TfL and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as a key element of the wider regeneration happening there.

Work on the roundabout itself, including the provision of segregated cycle lanes, will begin late next year and follows a consultation in which 87 per cent of respondents agreed the plans would improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

Plans include the introduction of a two-way road layout to replace the roundabout itself, while the north-western arm of the roundabout will be closed with the space pedestrianised.

The junction lies on the boundary of Islington and Hackney and just to the north of the City of London and Islington Council has invited ideas for a landmark, “iconic gateway” with a budget of £1 million.

The council says the deadline for proposals is 29 January 2018, with a public exhibition the following month and a shortlist drawn up in March.

Councillor Claudia Webbe, Islington Council's executive member for environment and transport, said: "The transformation of Old Street will hugely improve the area for pedestrians, public transport users, cyclists and people who live and work nearby.

“Old Street is an iconic location known around the world, and a powerful symbol of what is also known as Tech City.

“This is a unique opportunity for an exciting, bold, iconic gateway – we are looking for innovative and inspiring ideas, which tap into the pioneering spirit of creativity for which Old Street is so famous."

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, commented: “This work is going to make a real difference to Old Street, making it a more pleasant and safer place for pedestrians and cyclists.

“It’s exactly the type of improvements that we want to see happening right across the Capital as we encourage Londoners to travel actively for the good of their health and our air quality.”

He added: “The area is renowned for its innovation so I can’t wait to see the range of creative ideas that will be sent to Islington to make the most of the new public space we are creating.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.