MT 57/135

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Highgate to Stanborough; line of route

Date range1924
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 57


The Barnet Bypass is perhaps one of the most misleading of the Arterial Road names. It doesn't just bypass Barnet - that could have been done with a couple of miles of new road - but instead provides an entirely new line for the A1 far west of Barnet, and providing a realignment of more than 17 miles in length.

This file provides the MOT's office copy of the plans for the whole of this new road. Inside a number of protective layers, you will find seven long, long sheets of paper in what my notes refer to as "one big nightmare roll". Separating one sheet from another, and then unrolling it in such a way that it can be viewed, is extremely difficult; the roll will fight you at every stage and eventually it will win. The sheets are not in order so there is much swapping from one to another involving tedious rolling and unrolling.

The plans themselves show the road exactly as built and on its present line, including the coincidental section of the Watford Bypass, the proposed North Circular, the existing section of North Circular that had already been built west of Regent's Park Road, and the section of Addison Way in Hampstead Garden Suburb that was absorbed into the bypass.

My notes summarise this item as "nothing revelatory and a total pain to view", but it is still really rather lovely to be looking at such ancient and beautiful plans.

People with camera copies

None known.