There once was a dream of surrounding and enmeshing the capital with motorways. It must have seemed a good idea at the time.
Boris Johnson’s dedication to ushering as much road traffic as possible into London and helping it through the capital as fast as it can go has been a hallmark of his mayoralty. Halving the congestion charging zone, re-phasing traffic lights and describing Westminster’s abandoned plan to extend parking charges as “completely mad” are just some examples of his dedication to the fixed false belief that more motoring makes modern cities more pleasant and prosperous. Though cars, vans, lorries and cabs will always be a part of London’s transport mix, most good judges abandoned that urban freeway fantasy long ago.
The funny, enlightening short documentary by Jay Foreman from 2011 embedded below gives a vivid idea of how and why London has escaped the sort of fate politicians like the mayor still seem to long for.
More on (the real) Patrick Abercrombie here. More on the road ringway plan here. More on Jay Foreman here.
Link to article: feeds.theguardian.com/c/34708/f/663875/s/383c0489/sc/38/l/0L0Stheguardian0N0Cuk0Enews0Cdavehillblog0C20A140Cmar0C160Clondon0Eringways0Eroad0Eplan0Ejay0Eforeman/story01.htm