AT 56/98

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Third London Airport: Maplin Project; final and draft report; motorway/highspeed rail access ringway 3 to Maplin - corridor study. With plans

Date range1973
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries AT, subseries AT 56


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the government was very keen on its big plans for a third London airport at Maplin, to be built on reclaimed land off Shoeburyness. Among the reams of material that was researched and published before this expensive dead-end was cancelled, Brian Colquhoun and Parners were called in to investigate ways to get people to and from this new airport. Their two studies are here. The thinking is based on the fact that the predicted passenger figures for the first decade or two of operation were roughly equivalent to the capacity of a two-track railway and a dual four-lane motorway, that's what they proposed.

The first report here is for the attention of British Rail and concerns possible alignments for a new railway from King's Cross to Ringway 3. The second report investigates possible alignments for a shared railway and motorway route from Ringway 3 to Maplin.

It sets out numerous options, with all their benefits and downsides, and while it is, strictly, only peripheral to the Ringways study, it contains much of interest as it is very much of the same era of planning and involves the extension of the Ringway thinking eastwards to the new airport.

Contents of note

  • Three reports - one draft, and two final as described above.
  • Two large plans (plus a third 'draft' plan that is more or less the same) of the routes studied, both road and rail. These are in plastic folders at the front of the file but originally there was one with each report. These depict:
    • Route F1 running south of Southend.
    • The A13/M13 route near Dagenham.
    • New lines for the M12 east of Ringway 3.
  • The roads report is of great interest and outlines:
    • Proposed cross-sections for motorway and railway lines.
    • Justification for each route selection.
    • Outlines of New Town proposals north of Rayleigh.
    • Proposals for a second motorway route to be brought on stream when the airport was expanded to four runways at some future date.
    • Explanation of how, exactly, route F1 might be built.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has extracts from the report and copies of the large plan sheets.