Old Street Roundabout

Coordinates: 51°31′33″N 0°05′15″W / 51.5257°N 0.0875°W / 51.5257; -0.0875
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Looking down on Old Street Roundabout, 2012

Old Street Roundabout is a road junction in Central London, England. Historically a square roundabout, it is now a three-way junction. It is among access points of the Inner Ring Road for the adjoining St Luke's south part of Islington and the City of London beyond, west and south, respectively. It is roughly on the western limit of Shoreditch in the London Borough of Hackney which straddles both sides of the Ring Road, a road which after taking up a little of the eastern part of Old Street then veers south-east, taking Great Eastern Street, at Apex Junction.

It is sometimes known as St. Agnes Well after the shopping centre beneath it, while the moniker of Silicon Roundabout owes to the local prominence of technology companies. Since October 2020 the layout has been a simple junction, not gyratory.[1][2]


View from the south-east side of Old Street Roundabout looking north-west
An urban sculpture and advertising hoarding in the centre of Old Street Roundabout, pictured from the south side looking north.

City Road crosses the roundabout, running south towards the City of London (particularly Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations), and north-west towards Angel, Pentonville, and the two northward railway terminus districts: King's Cross/St. Pancras and Euston.

The main, namely north-east side, the north-western continuation of City Road, and Great Eastern Street are the limit the congestion charge zone (CCZ).

To the west of Old Street are Clerkenwell, Finsbury, and (further afield) the West End. To the east are Shoreditch and London's East End.

St. Agnes Well[edit]

The shopping complex serving the broad underpass at the centre of the roundabout is named St. Agnes Well, after an ancient well thought to have been about 200 metres (660 ft) to the east, at the junction of Old Street and Great Eastern Street. Remnants of the well can be found within Old Street station.[3]

Old Street station[edit]

Old Street station ticket hall.

Old Street station is below Old Street Roundabout. It is served by the Bank branch of the London Underground Northern line and by National Rail Great Northern trains. With the increase in passenger numbers using the station, in 2014 Transport for London announced that it was to offer pop-up retail space at Old Street station as part of a drive to increase its revenue.[4]

Silicon Roundabout[edit]

The term Silicon Roundabout refers to the high number of web businesses near the Old Street Roundabout (also in East London), by analogy to Silicon Valley in California.[5][6][7]

Cycling accidents[edit]

A number of cycling accidents have occurred at Old Street roundabout. According to the London Cycling Campaign, the junction is among the top three in London for accidents involving cyclists.[8] Within a few days in February 2011 two cyclists were severely injured in collisions involving lorries on or very close to the roundabout.[9][10] In another collision involving a lorry in 2008, a cyclist suffered severe leg injuries, which the police described as "potentially life-changing".[11] In response to this Transport for London have proposed a massive transformation of the roundabout, into a pedestrian square with segregated cycle lanes and road signals.[12] On 25 July 2018, a cyclist was severely injured on Old Street roundabout following a collision with a lorry.[13]


After extensive public consultation held in 2014–15, plans to broaden the non-motor vehicle area began in 2018.[14] In 2019, the work began by Transport for London (TfL) in conjunction with Morgan Sindall.[1] and the Boroughs of Islington and Hackney to create a much more pedestrian- and cycle- friendly zone.[15] Remaining motor traffic is two-way to speed up pedestrian crossings and allow segregated cycle lanes. The work created a well-lit pedestrianised space around the new station main entrance.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Morgan Sindall awarded £15 million Old Street Roundabout project by TfL". Transport Britain. 2017.
  2. ^ Bartholomew, Emma (29 October 2020). "Old Street roundabout overhaul moves to the next stage as roads change to a new layout". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  3. ^ London's Holy Wells Archived 9 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Pop-up shops arrive at Old Street Tube station". Transport for London.
  5. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (29 July 2008). "silicon-roundabout-is-this-the-heart-of-the-uks-new-dotcom-boom". Financial Times blog. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Silicon Roundabout". The Economist. 27 November 2010. pp. 63–64.
  7. ^ Prigg, Mark (30 July 2008). "Roundabout is London's Answer to Silicon Valley". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 27 September 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  8. ^ Coleman, Jasmine (4 March 2011). "Safety concerns for cyclists on Old Street roundabout following crash". Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  9. ^ Coleman, Jasmine (24 February 2011). "Old Street crash: woman cyclist critically ill". Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  10. ^ Marshall, Tom (16 February 2011). "Cyclist injured in City Road crash". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  11. ^ "Old Street roundabout accident: "Life-changing injury"". Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Revealed: Radical plan to transform Old Street roundabout into pedestrianised square". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Female cyclist, in her 30s, hit by lorry at busy roundabout in east London". Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Have your say on transforming Old Street roundabout - Results Updated 2 Oct 2018". Transport for London. 2019.
  15. ^ "Old Street roundabout". Transport for London. 2019.
51°31′33″N 0°05′15″W / 51.5257°N 0.0875°W / 51.5257; -0.0875