Transport for London has announced a revised completion date of “early 2024” for the transformation of Old Street, modernising the station entrances and overhauling the 1960s roundabout to create a much safer, more welcoming environment for everyone.
The work has seen the northwest arm of the roundabout closed permanently to all traffic and will create a major new public space for everyone who lives in, works in and visits the area, with better walking and cycling access to Old Street station. Once complete, the former Old Street roundabout will have permanent, fully segregated cycle lanes and cycle-only traffic signals around the re-designed junction, alongside new pedestrian crossings to make it much easier to navigate the area on foot. Work on the new cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings is expected to be complete this summer.
TfL is also carrying out upgrade work to Old Street station, which will see the creation of two new passenger entrances and new lifts to an upgraded retail concourse. It says the transformation is an extremely complex project in a busy location on the Inner Ring Road, above an Underground and Network Rail station. It adds a key requirement of the project has been for the road and station to remain open and accessible throughout the works, which has further complicated delivery.
In a statement it states: “While good progress has been made on the project, the pandemic had a major impact on construction work, with the site shut for three months. This was followed by months of social distancing measures in a confined work site, to reduce the risk of infection among those working at the site.
“The scope of the work needed to deliver the project has also increased significantly. During excavation work for the project, previously unrecorded utilities infrastructure was found which required careful and safe removal. Construction of the new entrances for the station, that was built in the 1960s, was delayed by the state and complexity of the existing mechanical and electrical systems. Though these systems are safe, equipment to connect them to the new entrances and retail concourse is no longer available from suppliers and needed to be designed and replaced completely to conform to current regulations and standards. TfL is working closely with its contractor to complete the project by early 2024. This includes the station entrances and lifts to the retail concourse, which will generate ongoing commercial income for TfL. ”
Nick Fairholme, TfL’s Director of Capital Delivery, added: “Our work to transform Old Street will be a huge boost to everyone who travels to the area, making sustainable journeys by public transport and on foot or by bike much safer and easier. We’re working hard to complete the project as quickly as possible and are sorry for the disruption this delay will cause to people in the area. I’d like to thank everyone in the area for their patience during this work and we’ll continue to work closely with Islington and Hackney Councils, local residents and businesses to ensure everyone can benefit from these changes as soon as possible.”
(Picture – TfL)