This article examines British attitudes to motorway construction during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, stressing the importance of international events to Britain's motorway building policy. It shows that while national social, political and economic imperatives, movements, and contexts were clearly of primary importance in debates about motorway construction in Britain, these often emerged amidst discussions about road-building developments abroad, particularly in mainland Europe and North America. The article focuses on British reactions to the construction of the German National Socialist Party's Autobahnen in the 1930s, examining how the Autobahnen became embroiled in a spectacular propagandist performance of the modern German nation. Finally, the paper examines the attention paid to European and U.S. motorways in postwar Britain, as engineers, landscape architects, designers, and civil servants undertook research to help inform their plans and designs for British motorways.
The Effect of European and North American Motorway Construction on Attitudes in Britain, 1930-1960
GERMANY, GREAT BRITAIN, MOTORWAYS, NATIONALISM, and TRANSPORT
The Motorway as a Space of Neoliberalism
The article surveys a giant infrastructural construction project in Poland: the A2 motorway, connecting Poznan´ and Warsaw with the Polish-German border. It was the first private motorway in Poland, and the biggest European infrastructural project, and was realized in a public-private partnership system. The last section of A2 was opened on 1 December 2011, which can be seen as a key moment in Polish socioeconomic transformation. I examine it on two levels: (1) a discourse between government and private investors in which the motorway was the medium of economic and social development and infrastructural “the end” modernization of Poland; (2) practices and opinions of local communities, living along the new motorway. On the first level, the construction of A2 was seen as an impetus for the economic and social development of the regions where the motorway was built. But on the second level, I observe almost universal disappointment and a deep crisis experienced by local economies.
Maxwell Gordon Lay
A motorway is universally defined as a road specifically provided for motor traffic, with dual carriageways separating oncoming traffic, with all intersections grade-separated, and with no access from abutting properties.1 However, these three papers on motorway history will suggest that this definition is not nearly as simple and straightforward as we might previously have assumed. The papers are each significant contributions to our understanding of European motorway development and usefully present the planning and development of motorways from very different perspectives.
The Motorway Aesthetics of Postwar Oslo
Even Smith Wergeland
This article explores the 1965 Transport Analysis for Greater Oslo, a municipal planning document in which the routing of a large urban motorway through Oslo is richly illustrated in a series of drawings and prints. The images on display in the Transport Analysis were widely circulated in the mid- to late 1960s, thereby creating a mobile exhibition that reached a wide audience and connected with a number of other images. Through this circulation, the Transport Analysis became entangled in an intricate visual discourse that aestheticized urban motorways and linked up with radical currents in European postwar architecture. While the Transport Analysis has previously been interpreted quite narrowly, merely as the product of a pragmatic engineering mind-set, this article posits that one must move beyond the technocratic level to unravel its wider meanings.
The Renewal of the Italian Road Network in the 1920s
Looking beyond motorways plans, this essay focuses on the role of the Italian "road" lobby in the 1920s in shaping the national transport policy. Contractors like Puricelli were the driving forces of surface transport modernization, with visionary plans but also facing a lack of sympathy by the automobile industry. Those programs were nevertheless carried out with the strong support of the Touring Club and provincial councils. In this context, it seems that the fascist dictatorship, with its hesitance, slowed—rather than hastened—road modernization. Only in 1928, feeding off the ideas of Puricelli and others, did the Mussolini government develop a proper road renewal program. Finally, framing the Italian experience in the European contexts, it emerges that despite the extreme success of American car culture, England is depicted as a more suitable model.
Rabbi Daniel Smith
theologian back to London. We drove down the motorway. Lionel and his new-found friend sat in the front of the car. They discovered they were both passionate about French drinking songs and also other sentimental or raunchy French folk songs, which they
A Short Story
me for doing what I have done. So it has always been between us. He drives his little car along the motorway with the snow piled up on either side and in his mind's eye he can see me sitting in the dusk at my table in the middle of the empty room, he
The Textbook Case of the Historical Representations of the Paris Beltway
motorway constructions. Ultimately, this automobile belt of the capital whose construction took place, as in a seesaw game, sometimes to the east and west, north and south, in successive sections open to traffic, was designed, not as an urban motorway
The Construction of Flow in and through Radio Traffic Reports
traffic updates from the 1960s and early 1970s, there are very few references to particular roads by means of their respective numbers, even though the first motorways had already been assigned such a number in a governmental plan for the national
-Historical Geography of England’s M1 Motorway (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007). 2 Tim Edensor, From Light to Dark: Daylight, Illumination, and Gloom (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2017). 3 Jacob Shell, Transportation and Revolt: Pigeons, Mules