Peter Murray

Rings Around London: Orbital motorways and the battle for homes before roads

By Wayne Asher (Capital Transport, £25)

Reviewed by Neil Bennett

(Review from issue 493 of the Journal of the London Society. Buy your copy of the Journal here, or get a free copy when you join the Society)

This 180-page book sets out the history of the proposals to provide London with five orbital rings of urban motorways, documenting the 50-year debate between the road builders, their supporters, and those Londoners who fought them off.

It is difficult now to imagine the magnitude of the impact motorway rings A, B, C, D and E would have had, but as the largest civil engineering project since the Second World War, they would have cost between 60,000 and 100,000 people their homes, almost the number that were lost during the war itself.

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