Motorways in London (1969)

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The full title of this book is Motorways in London, Report of a Working Party led by J. Michael Thompson.

ISBN number7156 05119
Owned byChris5156
TypePublications (see all artefacts)


Probably the clearest, most readable and most persuasive voice in the many conflicting voices surrounding the GLC's Ringways proposals. This report is ultimately critical of the road plans, but takes a neutral starting point and evaluates a great deal of evidence so that its conclusion is meticulously logical and free of the emotional and subjective argument that usually swallows up any worthwhile debate of a road scheme.

The Guardian said:

Thomson's proposition was that "ringways" would not only be destructive, but would also fail to deliver what Londoners wanted. By creating room for more, and longer, car journeys, they would lead not to less congestion, but more. And by encouraging more car travel, they would withdraw passengers and revenue from the buses and tubes. London's transport problem was not only poor roads: it was equally the difficulties faced by pedestrians, cyclists and passengers by bus and rail.

This report was, ultimately, a cornerstone of the fight against the Ringways and is essential reading for anyone interested in the project and the social and political story that surrounds it.

An obituary of J. Michael Thompson was published in the Guardian on 13 July 2010. [1]