T 319/2655

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London motorway box: network of primary roads planned by Greater London Council (GLC)

Date range1973-1975
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries T, subseries T 319


This file contains correspondence both within Government departments about the GLC's road plans, and correspondence between the Treasury and GLC on the same subject. It is the primary source of information on how the road plans were considered by different tiers of the system and what happened to kill them off.

It contains documentation to support the timeline as we understand it:

  • GLC proposes major road plans. The government is sceptical.
  • The plans go to public inquiry. The Treasury and DoE adopt a policy of silence.
  • The Layfield Report recommends building R1 and R3.
  • The DoE signals acceptance of this report without committing itself to the exact lines of routes.
  • The Treasury signals it may not be willing to provide funding on this scale.
  • Cabinet approves the plans for R1.
  • The Cabinet decision is leaked to the press. Times and Private Eye publish stories.
  • A change of administration at the GLC sees the incoming governing party scrap the motorway proposals on the back of a wave of public dissent.

In addition there are drawings of the proposed layout of the M16 to the north and north-east of London, which reveals alternative layouts for some junctions and introduces an additional interchange with the A11.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.