How we blocked London’s highway to hell | Transport policy | The Guardian
I was delighted to see this story told, but a crucial part of it is missing (London’s lost mega-motorway: the eight-lane ring road that would have destroyed much of the city, 13 December). In the mid-1960s a small group of us, mainly transport economists, got together to fight the then policy of solving congestion in cities by building roads, because it was actually counterproductive. The more people take to their cars, the more public transport deteriorates, setting off a further switch to cars – a vicious circle already in evidence.
The problem was how to get politicians to take notice. We started by convincing Camden, Islington and two other large civic societies that they should oppose the scheme not by the usual nimby arguments, but by showing that the policy was bad for everyone. With their support, we approached all civic societies in London, and most joined together as the London Amenity and Transport Association to adopt this united approach. They in turn put pressure on local councils already desperately worried about the destruction of housing required for the plan.