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South Cross Route drawings

Date range1965
LocationLondon Metropolitan Archives (see all files stored here)
File baseFond GLC, subfond TD/DP/LDS

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.


One of those rare files that contains exactly what you hope it does when you first read the title. References have turned up several times (most notably in MT 106/299) to the firm of civil engineers Husband and Co being contracted to publish two reports - one on the South Cross Route, and another on the Clapham Interchange. At last - after several years of looking - one has turned up here.

In this instance, "South Cross Route" refers to the motorway running from Barnes Bridge to Denmark Hill, taking in a lengthy part of what would later become Ringway 2, and omitting about half of what ultimately was known as the South Cross, from Denmark Hill to Kidbrooke. It refers to the section from Barnes to Clapham as the "Basingstoke Link". It also contains plans for what it calls the "South link", and what we know better as the Balham Loop, as well as connecting sections of the West Cross Route, M23 and SCRPDR (the latter two referred to as "Brighton Radial" and "Hastings Radial" on these diagrams).

It illuminates what exactly was planned in the south-west corner of the London Motorway Box between 1964, when this report was published, and 1967, when we know the Balham Loop was deleted. After that date it's likely that the rest of this plan was largely retained, though the removal of the Balham Loop places a question mark over the complex layout at Clapham Junction. Without further evidence it's not possible to say how these proposals might have been amended.

The text of the accompanying report is not found in this file. Aside from small symbols on the key plan showing indicative locations, there are also no interchanges shown with the existing street network, so the layout of (for example) the junctions at Clapham High Street and Queenstown Road are not to be found here.

Contents of note

  • Plan and elevation of motorways:
    • from Barnes Bridge to Denmark Hill (sections of later Ringway 2 and South Cross Route)
    • from Clapham Junction to Tulse Hill ("Balham Loop")
    • from Tooting Bec Common southwards (M23)
    • from Loughborough Junction south via Tulse Hill (SCRPDR/Parkway E)
    • from Clapham Junction north to Chelsea Basin (West Cross Route)
  • Perspective drawings of interchange layouts at Clapham Junction, Battersea and Tulse Hill

Links to related files

MT 106/299 GLC 'motorway box': south cross route; preliminary investigations by consultants (1964)
LCC/PP/HT/001 Proposed South Cross route and North Cross route (1965)

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a complete copy.