Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:
Department of the Environment , in 1974
Administrative / biographical background:
In 1905 the Royal Commission on the Means of Locomotion and Transport in London drew attention, in their Report, to the inadequacy of the existing road system in the Metropolitan area to cater for increasing traffic.
The London Traffic Branch of the Board of Trade began an enquiry into the worsening state of affairs and in 1909 made recommendations for improvement, these recommendations including many of the arterial roads and by-passes that were later built. The London Arterial Road Conferences, 1912-1916 considered these recommendations and agreed on a list of proposals to form the basis of an Arterial Roads Improvement Scheme.
After the 1914-1918 war the situation became increasingly urgent owing to the rapid growth of motor traffic, both private and commercial, while the Government, through the Unemployment (Relief Works) Act 1920, were anxious that schemes should be commenced which would rapidly absorb some of the unskilled labour then unemployed.
The plans contained in this series are for the most part engineers work plans produced within the Ministry; proposed lines of route submitted by local authorities; contract drawings from construction companies and bridge construction diagrams. Some of the schemes referred to were eventually carried through in a different form from that shown in these records and some have never been carried through.
The majority of the plans have been drawn up by the Ministry but outside authorship is noted in the list where known.
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