MT 95/35

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Signposting of London: through - route system

Date range1947-1951
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 95


In 1949 the MOT instigated a scheme to improve navigation around London - then just as much a confusing tangle of streets serving as main roads as it is now - through the erection of thousands of new direction signs. There was an intention that the new signs would be up and ready in time for the 1951 Festival of Britain, with its influx of visitors unfamiliar with the city, but the signs took years to put up and missed the Festival entirely.

This scheme, for "London Through Route Signs", is the basis for the system still used in London today - that of directing traffic along main radial corridors and around the North Circular, South Circular and Inner Ring.

There are plenty of letters and press cuttings here indicating the level of dissatisfaction with existing signage in London. There is also a lot of discussion of a system of temporary signs put up by the AA and RAC for the 1951 Festival.

There is, finally, some talk of other ideas beyond just new direction signs, to do with colour-coding routes and other unlikely possibilities, all of which were ruled out.

The file covers the period to 1951, after which MT 95/36 takes over.

Links to other files

MT 95/36 Signposting of London: through - route system (1951-1957)

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.