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Ringway 2

Date range1966-1972
LocationLondon Metropolitan Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseFond GLC, subfond DG/AR

Thumbs up.png This file is truly delightful.
It is likely to bring a smile to your face, probably because it contains the sort of thing that makes trawling through dusty archive documents worthwhile. The thing in this file that makes your day might actually have nothing to do with its subject matter.


This orange file is big and fat and has an envelope at the front labelled PLANS. So I was excited before I even opened it. In the endless memoranda and correspondence there are a few interesting nuggets but not much to work up a sweat over - for example, Thamesmead station and its car park may have been designed to facilitate a big motorway on stilts (Ringway 2) being installed overhead at a later date. We also learn that the proper title of the Ringway 2-A20(M) junction at Mottingham would be Dutch House Interchange.

And then - oh, then! - then you get to the diagrams of Ringway 2. Of which more below this second-tier heading.

Contents of note

Some maps and plans of Ringway 2 in the south, showing:

  • all route options considered for Ringway 2 between Norbury and Mottingham. These include lines far north and south of those eventually chosen; some go through Norwood Junction and Elmer's End, while others pass through Streatham Common.
  • a map that must have been heavily guarded - where official GLC plans showed two arrowheads at Barnes, pointing at each other but not daring to commit to a line, here is the secret internal-use-only plan that shows what they were going to do here. Its contents are so exciting as to warrant more bullet points:
    • two lines are shown, one through Barnes and one further south through Mortlake.
    • the Barnes line is as expected, on the north-east side of the railway over the Thames and meeting the A316 at - get this - a three-level stacked roundabout.
    • the Mortlake option follows the railway towards Richmond then curves north-west to cross the green and then the recreation ground next to the brewery, squeeze in a stackabout with the A316, then onward alongside the river to finally cross it next to the railway bridge at Kew. Ironically this line would take up the site now occupied by the National Archives.
    • the lines rejoin just in time to meet the M4 which is - er - south of the A4 line and does not use the Chiswick Flyover to get out of London. A vast free-flowing junction, with no access towards London, is shown here.
    • Ringway 2 then rejoins the A406 at a fork junction beside Gunnersbury Park.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall had to stop himself jumping up and down excitedly long enough to take pictures.