MT 95/309

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London-South Wales Motorway (M4): design of Chiswick-Langley section

Date range1957-1960
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 95


Adventures in the planning of the M4 from London to Slough, including the famous elevated section. Other verses of this saga are in "links to other files", below.

This file contains some of the earliest planning work on this section of road, and in 1957 the concept of what sort of road was going to be built was not very settled at all. Alexander Gibb and Partners were consultants on the scheme and started from first principles, examining whether it would run as an elevated road above the A4 all the way to Heathrow (they noted that a single carriageway elevated road would preclude it from being a motorway) and how exactly an elevated road above the existing Great West Road might work. It seems that the design that was adopted, with one line of supports down the middle of the road and the deck cantilevered out from them, was chosen because it avoided diverting the utilities that were all in the verges to the sides of the road.

There are the full minutes of the meeting at the MOT at which a third lane on the viaduct was definitively ruled out.

Links to other files

MT 95/653 London-South Wales motorway (No.7): Chiswick-Langley; design (1961)
MT 95/654 London-South Wales motorway (No.7): Chiswick-Langley; design (1961-1962)
MT 95/726 Chiswick-Langley: general. Includes 10 photographs depicting: M4 motorway: construction at Chiswick, Brentford and Boston Manor (1962-1963)
MT 95/727 Chiswick-Langley: design (1962-1964)
MT 121/135 London South Wales Motorway: Chiswick-Langley Special Road; Cromwell Road extension to Slough by-pass (1957-1961)

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.