Roads for Prosperity

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Roads for Prosperity (often incorrectly called Road to Prosperity[1]) was a controversial white paper published by the Conservative UK Government in 1989 detailing the 'largest road building program for the UK since the Romans'[2] produced in response to rapid increases in car ownership and use over the previous decade. It embraced what Margaret Thatcher had described as 'the great car economy' although implementation led to widespread road protests and many of the schemes contained within it were abandoned in 1996.[3]

Overview[edit]

The proposals included 500 road schemes at an estimated cost of £23 billion based on predicted traffic growth of 142 percent cent by 2025.[1] It would have involved the doubling of the trunk road capacity with around 150 bypasses being built to meet the predicted demand.[4] According to The Times the road network expanded by 24,000 miles (38,624 km) between 1985 and 1995 and then by only 1.6% between 1996 and 2006; no definition of 'the road network' is provided.[5]

Schemes included the following:

  • Widen the M25 motorway to dual 4 lanes (some sections have subsequently been widened)
  • Widen the M1 motorway between the M25 and the M18 to dual 4 lanes (partially implemented much later)
  • Build the new Newbury Bypass (built in the face of major protests)
  • Extend the M3 extension past Winchester across Twyford Down (built in the face of major protests during the second half of the 1990s)
  • Widen the A140 road to Dual 2 lane between the A14 and Scole in Norfolk. (never built - speed limits subsequently introduced)
  • Widen single carriageway sections of the A12 road between the Ipswich and Great Yarmouth to dual 2 lane (abandoned)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History and context". Towards a Sustainable Transport System: Growth in a Low Carbon World. London: Department for Transport. October 2007. ISBN 978-0-10-172262-9. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  2. ^ Sadler, Richard (2006-12-13). "Roads to ruin". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  3. ^ Lean, Geoffrey (1996-01-21). "Tories ditch the 'car economy'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  4. ^ Kingsnorth, Paul (2003-06-30). "Do we have to set England alight again?". New Statesman. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  5. ^ Webster, Ben (2006-09-11). "Broken promises leave dozens of towns in queue for a bypass". The Times (London: News International). Retrieved 2007-11-18. 

External links[edit]