The heavily delayed project to rebuild part of the Old Street station and the surface roundabout which was due to have been completed last year is now not expected to be completed for another year. Plans to revamp the Old Street roundabout emerged in 2017, with construction work starting in 2020, and was due to have been completed last year.

Apart from building two new entrances to the tube and mainline station, along with new lifts between the street and ticket hall levels, the project will see the roundabout turned into a peninsula, with one side closed to road traffic and converted into a pedestrian plaza.

Future layout (c) TfL

TfL now says that the delay is due to the scope of the work needed to deliver the project increasing significantly due to changes to the plans that emerged as work got underway.

During excavation work for the project, previously unrecorded utilities infrastructure was found which required careful removal. Construction of the new entrances for the station was also delayed by the state and complexity of the existing 1960s era 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.

Nick Fairholme, TfL’s Director of Capital Delivery, said: “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.”

TfL says that construction work on the changes to roads in the area, including the new segregated cycle lanes, is expected to be complete this summer, while the rest of the project will be completed by early 2024. This includes the station entrances and lifts to the retail concourse.

An original plan to turn the slope over the tube station’s new main entrance into a public seating area was rejected by Islington council, and it’s now covered in planting instead.

The rejected plan for the station entrance

And a “secret” for you — the Old Street roundabout includes concrete plinths for an unbuilt 1960s flyover. The huge advertising sign has an arm sitting on one of the plinths.


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  1. Dan says:

    “along with new lifts between the street and ticket hall levels” – surprised the project didn’t also take the opportunity to include lifts down to the platforms and make the station step-free.

    • Brian Butterworth says:

      The station did have lifts from 1901 until 1925, but only to the level of the bottom of the escalators: there were still steps (as today) down to Northern Line platform level or up to the GNER platforms.

      A lift to all four platforms isn’t easily locatable at anywhere at Old Street surface level.

    • Keith says:

      Agreed, I was surprised that they didn’t take the opportunity to add/reinstate a lift from ticket hall down to at least the bottom of the escalators whilst most of the shop units were empty. It also slightly limits the benefits of adding lift from street to ticket hall if that’s were the accessibility ends.

      Looking at connecting to the northern line and railway platforms might require an additional lift(s). However additional lifts would presumably be less disruptive to the shop units when they return, compared to the adding the main lift shaft.

  2. Ryan says:

    Here’s how the unbuilt flyover would have looked.

  3. Adrian Betham says:

    Let us hope that on completion there will be common stops for the 214 and N271 both going overnight to Highgate.

  4. Maennling Nic says:

    I well remember in the late 1940s on my way to Moorfields Eye Hospital with my Mother, a steam hauled goods train clanked & puffed it’s way through the Old Street Tube station. Now that is a memory that will not go away !

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