In May 2019, Old Street Roundabout technically stopped being a roundabout, as turning right from Old Street west into City Road south became a thing of the past.
This was the beginning of a transformation of the redoutable — and downright lethal — east London megajunction, with promises of segregated cycle lanes with dedicated traffic signals for cyclists, new pedestrian crossings, fresh station entrances and lifts, and reinvigorated retail outlets (though the old vendors down in St Agnes Well certainly had their charm.)
All that was touted to be a reality by the end of 2020, but over two years after that deadline, TfL has just given a revised completion date of early 2024.
It's not entirely unsurprising: put Covid and TfL's financial woes to one side, and there have still been other complications to the revamp; in particular, existing mechanical and electrical systems fitted when the current gyratory complex was built in the 1960s are being blamed. Says TfL: "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. "
So far, £112 million has been spent on the uncompleted project. Some boons will arrive sooner than others; all the changes to the roads themselves — including those much-needed cycle lanes — are now due to be completed in summer 2023. We know people who'll say that's already inexcusably late.
And if you're a regular user of the station and its not-exactly-sylvan subways, you're going to have to excuse the mess a little while longer.