Road Building

Road Building

From the 1920s onwards, planners dreamed of solving London's traffic problems. During the 1920s, the capital's largest road project was the construction of the Great West Road leading out of west London. The Abercrombie Plan of 1945 set out a neat-looking scheme for separating local and long-distance traffic, confining the latter to concentric circular routes that would encircle London, and arterial routes that would radiate from London like spokes in a wheel.

This idea was pushed forward by the London County Council (L.C.C.) in the early 1960s and, more aggressively, by the Greater London Council (G.L.C.) in the late 1960s. In 1969, the G.L.C. published 'The Greater London Development Plan', which set out an ambitious plan for roads and inner-city motorways in London.

The G.L.C. proposed three concentric 'ringways' together with the outward facing 'radials' which would become inner-city motorways. The plan would cost 2,000 million and require the demolition of 30,000 homes. 'Everyone regrets', it acknowledged, 'the disturbance of private property which this road planning involves'.

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