Why Is London’s Traffic So Bad? Jay Foreman Explains In Unfinished London

In episode 2 of Unfinished London, Jay Foreman tackles the history of the unbuilt ‘Ringways’ that would have surrounded London with not one but four! – M25 style motorways. Fortunately, this idea seemed as insane to Londoners back then as it does to us today.

In his usual comedic style Jay looks at:

  • How London was not designed for the car.
  • How he can run faster than London traffic.
  • The Abercrombie (aka Greater London) plan.
  • Where the Ringways would have gone.
  • Why we only ended up with the M25.
  • The evidence you can see today for the unbilt sections of motorway.
  • Why north London is better than south London.
  • What would have to happen to make the South circular happen today.
  • Why the Westway was built and how its construction helped halt further building.
  • And finally how all this affects our roads and traffic planning today.

So why is London’s traffic so bad? Well to put it simply, Londoners would prefer to have walkable streets and use public transit than drive on large motorways. This may be a pain if you’re a car owner, but it is a far better alternative than the proposed ‘Ringways’ of the 60s and 70s.

For more Unfinished London watch episode 1, episode 3 part 1 and episode 3 part 2.

Every Tube Station Song By Jay Foreman

I think the video above is the perfect silly Sunday video. What better way to cure your hangover than listening to Jay Foreman sing the names of all 270 tube stations?

Yesterday, I featured the first of Jay Foreman’s amazing Unfinished London videos. However, Jay is actually better known as a musical comedian and you can find out more about him from his website.

You can also watch some of his other videos:

Unfinished London episode 1: Answering the question ‘Why does Mill Hill East exist?’

Unfinished London episode 3 (part 1): Answering the question ‘Why does London have so many airports?’

Unfinished London episode 3 (part 2): Which doesn’t really answer the any questions about the future of London’s airports.

Now, you may have noticed I don’t have a link to Unfinished London episode 2; that’s because it’s a video better suited to a Monday morning.

Why Does Mill Hill East Exist? Jay Foreman Explains in Unfinished London

Ever wonder why Mill Hill East station exists? Well in the first episode of the Unfinished London video series, Jay Foreman takes a look at the Northern Heights plan. While the video was originally published over 4 years ago, I’m hoping you may not have seen it. But even if you have, it’s worth a second viewing.

Far from being a boring history lesson, Jay instead looks at the more humorous aspects of London’s quixotic approach to planning. Just a few of the gems you’ll see in the video:

  • Evidence of a former railway you can see on Google Earth.
  • Revealing footage of Dr. Beeching.
  • A bunch of bridges over nothing.
  • Clues as to where the new line would have gone.
  • Why a certain useless bus stop exists on the A41.
  • The Green Belt’s role in all this.
  • How a poster destroyed the very area it was designed to promote.
  • Why all houses in suburbia look the same.
  • What Bushey Heath station might have looked like.
  • Why any attempt to complete the Northern Heights plan today, would mean Jay’s grandmother would be forced from her home.
  • Finally see Jay run down the middle of the M1.

You can also watch some of Jay’s more recent videos answering the questions of Why Does London Have So Many Airports? and What is the future of London’s airports?

The Future Of London’s Airports? An Unfinished London Look

In his last Unfinished London video, Jay Foreman looked at why London has so many airports. In Unfinished London – Episode 3 (Part 2) above, he looks at what the future may hold for London’s airports given the crazy situation we find ourselves in.

Heathrow expansion, Boris island (which could cost more than £100k) and the frankenstein of Heathwick are all given a look. However, at the end of the day we may not know what the right solution should have been for another 30 years or even if we needed to do anything at all.

What do you think we should do? Or do we need to do anything at all?