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.