MT 111/66

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Traffic observation: test vehicle (mobile lab); maintenance, hiring, repairs, plating; for use in west London area

Date range1965-1970
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 111

Wasteoftime.jpg This file is a waste of time.
You are advised to avoid it like the plague. Its file title sounds rather interesting but it may contain only dull papers that fail to illuminate the subject matter or it may not even be related to the subject suggested by the title.


This is a thick wedge of a file relating to the West London Traffic Control Experiment (of which, more at MT 111/61). It is a waste of time, but there are some small points of interest here.

What we learn is that the WLTCE involved the use of a mobile laboratory in the back of a van which was driven to different locations in West London so that engineers could adjust signal timings and then take traffic counts and speed readings to monitor the effects of their changes immediately. Over the course of the experiment two vans were used, the second one being introduced because the first one was too small.

This detail takes up about three lines of text when summarised thus, but the file itself is several inches thick. The remainder is what qualifies it as a waste of time: it includes everything related to the running of a Ministry-owned van in the 1960s. There are handbooks, official forms for the accidental scratching of paintwork, MOT test certificates, remittance forms for the cleaning and servicing of the vehicle, procurement exercises, and hundreds and hundreds of forms for the purchase of petrol using government funds. Sigh.

Links to other files

MT 111/61 Management Committee: management reports to Minister of Transport. with plans. (1965-1966)
MT 111/65 Traffic observation: aerial filming; use of helicopters over west London. (1964-1966)
MT 111/68 WLTCE Working Party: minutes of meetings 1-31 (1965-1968)

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.