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Work begins on making 'outdated Old Street roundabout' safer for cyclists and pedestrians

PUBLISHED: 12:39 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:39 26 November 2018

The road layout showing what Old Street roundabout will look like after the work is done . Although this appears to display a new seating structure, Islington Counci confirmed this is just a holding image while the winner is selected. Picture: TfL, Islington Council and Hackney Council

The road layout showing what Old Street roundabout will look like after the work is done . Although this appears to display a new seating structure, Islington Counci confirmed this is just a holding image while the winner is selected. Picture: TfL, Islington Council and Hackney Council

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Work has begun on an ambitious project to gut Old Street roundabout and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

The road layout showing what Old Street roundabout will look like after the work is done . Although this appears to display a new seating structure, Islington Counci confirmed this is just a holding image while the winner is selected. Picture: TfL and Islington Council and Hackney CouncilThe road layout showing what Old Street roundabout will look like after the work is done . Although this appears to display a new seating structure, Islington Counci confirmed this is just a holding image while the winner is selected. Picture: TfL and Islington Council and Hackney Council

Transport for London (TfL) and Islington and Hackney councils have started work to remove the 1960s gyratory, where cyclist Sarah Doone lost her leg after being run over by a cement truck in August.

The ambitious plans will see the north-west arm of the roundabout closed to all traffic, creating a new public space with improved walking and cycling access to Old Street station.

“I’m delighted work to transform the junction has now begun,” said Sadiq Khan. “Old Street is one of the busiest junctions in London, but is currently an outdated roundabout that needs to be made safer for the thousands of people who pass through it every day.

“Every death or serious injury on London’s roads is one too many, and the improvements at Old Street are part of our ambitious plans to improve road safety all across London.”

The redesigned roundabout aims to create a two-way junction for vehicles to filter through, including segregated cycle lanes and bike-only traffic signals.

The plans are a continuation of TfL’s Vision Zero agenda, which aims to eliminate all death and serious accidents in London’s roads by 2041.

There have been at least two fatal cycling crashes in Islington’s streets in the past 12 months. Prof Maria Bitner-Glindzicz died after a collision in St John Street in September and Soren Aarlev died after a Goswell Road accident.

Ms Doone had her left leg amputated after the horrendous Old Street roundabout collision in August. She is understood to be spending time with her occupational therapist this week and preparing to leave rehab on Friday.

Hackney Council recently wrote to TfL saying it wanted to see more trees, improved public space, and more cycle parking in the designs.

Deputy mayor and transport chief Cllr Feryal Demirci said on the plans: “For far too long, Old Street roundabout hasn’t been safe enough for cyclists and pedestrians.

“While we think the plans could go further, introducing segregated cycle lanes and improving the public space will create a safer, more attractive area that can be enjoyed by everyone.

“We are working with TfL to develop the plans for the parts of the new public space that are in Hackney.”

Islington’s environment and transport boss Cllr Claudia Webbe added: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform a polluted, outdated junction so that priority and space is given to people instead of vehicles.”

Nick Fairholme, TfL’s director of project and programme delivery, said: “Old Street is the gateway to the Tech City economic and cultural powerhouse and our work will completely transform the area, creating healthy streets that are much more welcoming to people walking and cycling than the existing, outdated roundabout.”

After calling for people to submit designs for the new look roundabout, Islington Council released a shortlist of four designs in March. The overall winner is yet to be announced and today’s computer-generated images show a dummy design rather than any of the finalists.

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