back to article U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND

London's Silicon Roundabout is set to become a Silicon U-Bend as part of new plans to tart up the infamously grubby part of the city. Transport for London has launched a public consultation which will aim to turn this ugly traffic island into a "peninsula". The unprepossessing urban barnacle formerly known as the Old Street …

  1. theModge

    venti soy caramel pumpkin mocha latte

    Is that actually a thing?

    1. WraithCadmus

      Re: venti soy caramel pumpkin mocha latte

      From my understanding of posh coffee, yes you could make this, but it sounds vile:

      Venti = Large

      Soy = Replace cow's milk with soy-derived milk

      Caramel = Add caramel flavoured syrup, or caramel dressing on top

      Pumpkin = Add pumpkin flavouring

      I'm struggling to reconcile mocha and latte, as they are the 'base' drinks. I guess you could add a squirt of chocolate syrup to the concoction, can anyone help me there?

      Icon: Coffee is srsbsns, peer review welcome.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: venti soy caramel pumpkin mocha latte

        Yes, mocha is just a squirt of chocolate syrup.

        So totally doable (although why you'd want to is another matter... but I don't judge)

      2. Ashley Ward

        Re: venti soy caramel pumpkin mocha latte

        Venti is a Starbucks measurement isn't it (meaning 20 fl.oz. or something)? So, being Starbucks, it's not posh coffee then...

  2. Christian Berger

    Isn't it weird...

    ... that a place where companies are located which should not depend on people or things being physically moved from place to place, cares that much about changes in their roads? I mean shouldn't there be more news about fibres being laid or commissioned?

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Isn't it weird...

      Not really. It's news about an area of the city getting a revamp. The changes to the road are just to allow that revamp.

  3. 45RPM Silver badge

    I used to work near there, and one of the things that I really liked about it where the unashamedly shabby, sticky old pubs that stunk like public lavatories. An odd thing to be attached to, I know, but in a bland, americanized, sterilized, world I liked the brazen fuck you attitude of these old boozers. The Angel. The Griffin. The Nelson. The Litten Tree. Horrible pubs, all of them, and yet I loved them dearly - and I generally spent my lunchtimes there. I went back recently - and only the Angel was left, and I doubt that it can be long for this world.

    So sad. The passing of an age.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and only the Angel was left

      No longer, closing or closed now, they had a do to celebrate

    2. Geoff Campbell

      Don't forget The Eagle.

      Used to do some stunningly good burgers with their own coleslaw in the '80s.

      And the Shepherdess, the cafe on the corner by The Eagle, at the traffic lights? I had my own invention on their menu, a large whole-grain bap with four rashers of bacon, about half a pound of grated cheese, and as many mushrooms as they could cram in. Used to be my standard breakfast, after all-night coding sessions.

      Happy, if not particularly well-paid, days.


      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Don't forget The Eagle.

        More recently, and sandwiched between the Angel and The Business Shop (IIRC), there was a sandwich shop called Brunch which did amazingly cheap bacon sandwiches (cheap white bread, butter, grease, bacon, red sauce that had never seen a tomato) that hit the hangover spot every time like a magic headache skewering bullet. Or, if you wanted to have a quality bacon sandwich, there was Mantega (on City Rd). Mantega was owned by a bald racing cyclist, excellent chap. Last time I went there there was a Subway in its place. Travesty. Very sad.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    ...I never knew we still employed artists from the 50's to do our designs.....

    Hers' the new transport layout just around the corner.

  5. Lostintranslation

    The worst recession for 100 years, £1 trlllion in debt, yet we can always find money for this type of crap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Don't worry, my son, there will be a cost benefit analysis that proves that this will make more money than it costs.

      In the same way that HS2 will generate more than it's £80bn cost by shaving fifteen minutes off the journey time to speed fat Brummie businessmen and councillors to London. Or the same way that if we don't concrete over either Crawley or Uxbridge for a new runway, we'll suddenly have no airports at all, whereas that third runway to serve transit passengers who never leave the airport will magically create £100bn of value for Britain.

      1. fridaynightsmoke
        Black Helicopters

        Re: @Lostintranslation

        I'm a fat Brummie businessman, we tend to travel (to London, or elsewhere) in BMWs and Jags rather than trains, so we would prefer the M6 to be embiggened instead of building HS2. You'll find it's councillors who favour the latter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Lostintranslation

          And I live on the left hand side of the country and concur. Improve the M5 and the M6.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Arnaut the less

            " Improve the M5 and the M6."

            Too late for that, mate. These roads are now at capacity, and widening the carriageway (or hard shoulder running) can't make up for the peak capacity limits on junctions and feeder routes. When most of the current motorways were designed there were about 12m vehicles on UK roads. There's now 34m, and for the most part we've added at best 33% to the motorway capacity.

            Notwithstanding the recent (probably misleading) government claim of billions of new money being spent on roads in the next few years, we've got a fast growing population that will add another 2m vehicles to the roads in the next five to ten years. If you wanted to improve the road traffic situation then the only way would be new roads duplicating important routes. Can't see the Welsh Marches being too keen on an M5/M6 relief motorway parallel to the A49, for example.

          2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: @Lostintranslation

            And I live on the left hand side of the country and concur. Improve the M5 and the M6.

            What about the right hand side? Have you ever used the travesty that's the A1? Before you even reach Peterborough you'll drive on normal motorway, a joke motorway where the inside lane disappears at every junction, a dual carriageway that runs past people's front doors, and a massive eight-lane superhighway that connects the villages of Alconbury and Stilton. The only "improvements" it ever sees are more speed limits.

  6. Elmer Phud

    And there goes another one

    Old Street roundabout used to be one of my ways of getting those endorphins running in the morning.

    Anyone regularly cycling round it always ends up with a feeling of elation and success.

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      Re: And there goes another one

      Not to mention the relief of still being alive to relish your feelings

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    London is a dirty unfinished shithole

    Try moving to a more pleasant city where you don't have to suffer the misery of it

    1. Grikath

      Re: London is a dirty unfinished shithole

      funny.. they've been saying that about it for nigh-on 2000 years.. ;)

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: London is a dirty unfinished shithole

        That's because it's been true for nigh-on 2000 years.

    2. Tom_

      Re: London is a dirty unfinished shithole

      Can you actually think of a finished city, besides maybe Detroit?

      1. Richard 81

        Re: London is a dirty unfinished shithole

        Detroit isn't finished in the same way that Carthage is finished.


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: London is a dirty unfinished shithole

      Well, we Germans did have a bloody good go at remodelling it for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: London is a dirty unfinished shithole

        Yes and if you could come back to Coventry, maybe we'll get the rebuilding right this time

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I presume the reference to "our fine old city" was just that. Every time I have to visit, more of the fine old bits seem to be hidden, or replaced by steel framed glass clad buildings. Eventually it will look like parts of Houston, without the weather.

    1. billse10

      Re: Sarcasm

      i don't mind the steel framed glass clad ... might be just me but I like the contrasts. If I walk up the local hill, can look across the river over to a small forest of steel framed glass at Canary Wharf, but am looking through the trees and a thousand years of history.

  9. Warm Braw Silver badge

    I suppose it was inevitable...

    Now that paper travel tickets are in terminal decline on the tube network, I guess it was only a matter of time before the dank network of crumbling tunnels* that served as a second-user marketplace for them would succumb to redevelopment. But I'm just not sure I'm ready for the next generation of Hoxton Hipsters flaunting their peninsularity.

    On the bright side, though, I suppose, over the years, the rebars will have been sufficiently corroded by urine that the new tube entrance will practically build itself.

    * I mean the Old Street underpasses rather than the underground train lines, they're easily confused...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I suppose it was inevitable...

      "But I'm just not sure I'm ready for the next generation of Hoxton Hipsters flaunting their peninsularity."

      Don't worry. When the latest tech bubble (fuelled by billions of QE) bursts, and investors start demanding actual profits rather than hot air, the hipsters "businesses" will shrivel like vampires in sunlight, and Silicon Polygon will become another vainglorious monument to government beliefs in picking winners.

      Then the hipsters can go back to serving coffee instead of drinking it.

      "Hey you! Beardo! Mine's a latte!"

      1. Richard 81

        Re: I suppose it was inevitable...

        "Hey you! Beardo! Mine's a latte!"

        The economy will have collapsed, so you'll be lucky if it's Nescafe - *shudder* - Original.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I suppose it was inevitable...

          "The economy will have collapsed"

          Only for the commercial sector. Government will keep taxing and spending, borrowing what it needs and then printing the money to repay the debt. I think I'll get a job in a public sector organisation that has a monopoly position in an essential market, undertakes mere transaction processing, but offers an average salary of over £90k. If any of the rest of you would like to enjoy some handomely rewarded, none-too-onerous work, based in Farringdon, then this is where you need to go:

          This may also explain why your energy bills are so high, because DECC clearly wouldn't know the concept of "low cost" if it came and p1ssed on their shoes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I suppose it was inevitable...

        Rather than create a peninsula, it would surely be better to provide a fast route to the M11 and the M25 so that those VCs can get to the parts of the UK where the real tech businesses are sited. I guess that Cambridge is too busy expanding to meet demand to waste time pointing out to Boris that his silicon roundabout is just a big web design shop.

  10. Nigel Whitfield.

    Stepped access only?

    Honestly, sometimes you have to wonder about TFL's level of commitment to accessibility. It's the 21st bloody century; it took a lot of nagging before it was confirmed that CrossRail would have step free access at all stations, and the last diagram of this shows that they're planning to rebuild some of the access subways with stepped access only.

    That's bonkers; Perhaps they'll make up for it with a lift in the new entrance, but even so, if you want to get to one of the other roads, wouldn't step free access be a better idea - and not just for wheelchair users - rather than having to cross all the traffic at street level?

  11. Chris Miller


    The point on the surface of an object closest to a point in its interior - normally used of earthquakes. It does not mean 'the precise centre', any more than epidemic refers to a global disease (that would be pandemic). So Old Street Roundabout can only accurately be described as the 'epicentre' of the London tech scene, if said scene is buried deep underground ... oh, wait ...

  12. Jan 0


    I've always called it the Old Street squareabout. Don't you?

    A little planning with a map will show you numerous pleasant ways of avoiding it on a bicycle.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...Birmingham is running is in phase two of the £10 billion Big City plan with and increase of city centre space by 25%, bringing in an estimated 50,000 jobs, including the £600 million redevelopment of New St station, a £100 million John Lewis store, a new city centre park and a growing "creative" hub of it own around the soon to be redeveloped Digbeth and Beorma areas (created without any hype and government posturing)

    Just a minor development:,-1.897631&source=embed&iwloc=0004cdff043698a3d72bb&ie=UTF8&msa=0&spn=0.017918,0.041908&hl=en&mid=zflzHtkiqU9I.kg1aNuDN--TM

    Still, it is a roundabout after all......bloody Londoners, grumble,grumble....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile......

      So, just to clarify, our Brummie friends are spending £200,000 per job created, assuming the usually garbage "jobs created" figure does miraculously come true?

      And within that they'll have spent over half a billion quid turning the dark and crypt like New Street station into a new dark and crypt like New Street station, they still have separate Chiltern and WCML stations in Birmingham, AND they've committed to build a different station for the ridiculous HS2 over at Curzon Street, not included in the costs above. How can you spend so much money for so little benefit?

      And you mention they'll spend £100m on a new John Lewis? It's just a f***ing shop, for gawd's sake! And a single shop at that. The most sophisticated thing in a shop is the fire control system, followed by the escalators. Apart from that it's just a shed, even if you make it look like a dog's egg rolled in glitter (Selfridges, I'm looking at you). But in Birmingham it'll be a £100m shed.

  14. Oninoshiko
    Paris Hilton

    Is it still the sillicon roundabout

    if it isn't a roundabout anymore?

  15. Fungus Bob

    Not so much getting a little more American as...

    getting a little more Californian. Nobody in what's left of Detroit would be caught dead with a venti soy caramel pumpkin mocha latte.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Re: Not so much getting a little more American as...

      Because a) they wouldn't be able to afford it and b) if they could, it would have been stolen along with everything else from the looted corpse. Also, c) the coffee shop was looted and burned years ago.

  16. Duncan Hare

    I drove a crane on the reconstruction of the Old St Tube station on this site in the late 60s. And resolved a fight between the Navvies and a knife wielding Cypriot.

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