The changing face of Old Street Station
Top of their wish-lists would be pedestrian and cycling overpasses (42%) - and underpasses (26%) - across the main arteries that feed into the roundabout and likewise a monorail (26%) that connects Old Street to the mainline stations.
A suggestion of a more immediate kind that struck a chord with those surveyed by Dice, the online career site for the technology community, would be to create a mobile mapping service (20%) that works in the current network of underground passageways beneath the current roundabout. Perhaps less practical to implement, but much favoured, was the notion to turn the whole area into a pedestrian zone( 24%).
Interestingly, the idea of replacing Boris bikes with Hoverboards proved more popular than creating a fully loaded tech work space in the centre of the Roundabout for people working in technology.
Jamie Bowler, Dice’s Marketing Director in the U.K. and Continental Europe, commented:
“For all the humour and free thinking demonstrated by the hiring managers and recruiters - there is a serious underlying point to the survey – the majority of those working in the tech industry would prefer to work together in a more traditional, centralised work environment rather than working remotely. To that end, any ecosystem or place of work intended for this community should take note of what they are ideally looking for in the same way an employer would.”
Indeed protecting the surrounding area as the spiritual home to London’s tech scene may potentially lie in the hands of landlords rather than city planners, over half (52%) of those surveyed reckoning the make-up of business in the area could be impacted in the next decade as a result of new start up businesses being priced out of the area because of rising rents. A quarter, nevertheless, believe the feel of the area will remain broadly the same over the period.
However, when asked which area in ten years time will be recognised as the most significant tech area in London, Silicon Roundabout still garnered the greatest support, followed by the City and then East London - Stratford/Olympic Park.
Indeed, for all the ability to work remotely, the majority (53%) of those survey believe there will still be a need for conventional office space in a decade’s time, less than a third (30%) believing there will be no need - a positive sign for the growing continuation of London’s tech clusters.
The survey coincides with Dice launching a major billboard campaign at Old Street station targeting those working in the tech sector.