Hackney Council to formally oppose Old Street roundabout plans

TfL's plans for the new-look Old Street station entrance. Islington Council is still choosing a desi

TfL's plans for the new-look Old Street station entrance. Islington Council is still choosing a design for the public space. Picture: TfL, ISLINGTON COUNCIL, HACKNEY COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council will formally object to TfL’s plans for a new pedestrianised public space in the middle of Old Street roundabout.

Planning officers had panned the design, which included a giant staircase for people to sit on, saying it was a “missed opportunity” to create a high-quality public space. They also said there was no management plan to avoid the antisocial behaviour the steps could bring.

On Wednesday councillors on the planning sub-committee agreed and voted down the plans.

Another major complaint was the fact the pedestrianisation of the north-western arm of the roundabout, where the Shoreditch Grind coffee kiosk stands, will see the road widened from four lanes to six on the Hackney side. To do that, the only existing subway entrance to the station in Hackney would be removed.

Hackney’s planners argue that would leave anyone wanting to head into Hoxton or Shoreditch having to cross six lanes of traffic first.

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Deputy mayor Cllr Feryal Demirci said: “While we welcome the overall improvements to cycling facilities, which are much needed and long overdue, the proposals as they stand do not reflect the calls we made last year for more cycle parking, more tree planting and high quality public spaces.

“Instead, they leave Hackney residents and commuters with longer journey times and even more traffic flowing into the borough following the closure of one arm of the junction, which could have a significant economic impact on Hackney’s businesses.

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“We’ll continue to work with Islington Council and TfL on the proposals.”

Islington Council, which is set to vote on the plans this summer, has also criticised the designs.

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