The future of roads
Abstract:A single stretch of road, the A57, is drawn on to explore the history and politics of the road in postwar Britain, and in particular the disappearance of the great postwar planning schemes into 'route management strategies' – part of a general, post-Thatcherite suspicion of the public sphere, planners and big government. It argues that road politics have also gone quiet since the great protests of the early 1990s because, in our newly outsourced public sphere where roads are largely built through private finance initiatives and contracted out to local authorities, no one who wants to protest against a road can be sure who or what to protest against. The article concludes that, while much can be learnt from the road protestors of the 1990s, we also need to acknowledge the aesthetic and emotional appeal of roads for motorists if we are to address how to persuade them to use more sustainable forms of transport.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 25, 2010
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