Glasgow Inner Ring Road

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Glasgow Inner Ring Road

Postby crusty_bint » Mon May 17, 2004 5:37 pm

The swinging sixties, the time of mini-skirts, the pill, new towns, flat roofs, tower blocks and urban motorways!
Glasgows Inner Ring Road was a product of the age of "the white heat of technology" and where would we be without it?

Stuck in a traffic jam!

The M8 cuts a swathe through the city of Glasgow and some of its best known areas. Originally proposed
at the end of WWII, it wasnt until the the 1960's thats plans were finalised to coincide with the post-industrial
regeneration of the city through its pland of Comprehensive Development Areas (CDA's).
Image
Hailed as the blueprint for urban motorways, and the first of its kind in Britain and probably Europe; where
no standards existed, they were simply invented!

Lucky they ran out of money!
South Flank (unbuilt)
Image

From Kingston Bridge
Image

West Flank (uncompleted)
Image

Townhead Interchange
Image

The blight of construction (1969)
Image

The end result (1974)
Image

Although un-finished (and much hated) the IRR plan did bring benefits to Glasgow. An evaluation carried out
in 1980 stated traffic speed had increased from 18mph in 1961 to 50mph. time savings were of about 20%.
Fuel savings of app 9%, and road fatalities were astonishingly cut from 16.5 per million vehicle-miles to 0.8 in 1971!

So what does the future hold for Glasgow... more roads it seems.

The latest stage of expansion is already underway and can be viewed here, its also got a fanshy virtual fly-over!!!
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Postby john-g » Mon May 17, 2004 6:53 pm

Holy shit! Where did you get this from?

I've always despised the 60's, 70's with a passion, but here you can see what they were trying to achieve. (Or more likely unrealistic propoganda from the council to quell revolt amongst the masses).

If only they'd known they'd end up with the bargain bin Holiday inn leering at them over the motorway.
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Postby skintobalinto » Mon May 17, 2004 8:48 pm

Crusty_Bint, Fantastic these are excellent where did you get them.

I'm sure I remember a film about the proposed changes to Glasgows transport infrastructure. The "City Fathers" had a vision of a transport utopia, looked more like something out of Metropolis. does anyone remember this?

They destroyed a lot of beautiful buildings for the sake of progress, when you look at the Virtual Mitchell and see what has now gone it makes you weep.
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Re: Glasgow Inner Ring Road

Postby red_kola » Mon May 17, 2004 9:26 pm

crusty_bint wrote:The swinging sixties, the time of mini-skirts, the pill, new towns, flat roofs, tower blocks and urban motorways!
Glasgows Inner Ring Road was a product of the age of "the white heat of technology" and where would we be without it?


Fantastic stuff. I have a real fear that now the third side of the ring road is coming, it won't be long until we hear talk of the economic benefits of completing the box. A motorway through Calton and Glasgow Green would undoubtedly improve the area. Right? Spin it with a promise of huge investment and redevelopment of the area and it would be downright impolite to protest, unless you were a tree-hugging pinko queer.

This plan is, after all, only 50 years old. It's not like it looked like a bad idea even when 20 years old. What modern, contenental-style cosmopolitan city wouldn't want to be cut into pieces by a series of roads which are barely adequate for the volume of trafic which use them, even in the city with the lowest rates of car ownership in the country.

Why shouldn't all trafic from the west of Scotland be routed through the very heart of Glasgow, en route either north, east or south. People might even stop for an ice-cream on their way. Win Win Win for everyone...

Somewhere in the Glasgow Room of the Mitchell are the plans they had for Great Western Road. Now, they really were scary!
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Re: Glasgow Inner Ring Road

Postby james73 » Mon May 17, 2004 9:41 pm

red_kola wrote:
crusty_bint wrote:The swinging sixties, the time of mini-skirts, the pill, new towns, flat roofs, tower blocks and urban motorways!
Glasgows Inner Ring Road was a product of the age of "the white heat of technology" and where would we be without it?


Fantastic stuff. I have a real fear that now the third side of the ring road is coming, it won't be long until we hear talk of the economic benefits of completing the box. A motorway through Calton and Glasgow Green would undoubtedly improve the area. Right? Spin it with a promise of huge investment and redevelopment of the area and it would be downright impolite to protest, unless you were a tree-hugging pinko queer.

This plan is, after all, only 50 years old. It's not like it looked like a bad idea even when 20 years old. What modern, contenental-style cosmopolitan city wouldn't want to be cut into pieces by a series of roads which are barely adequate for the volume of trafic which use them, even in the city with the lowest rates of car ownership in the country.

Why shouldn't all trafic from the west of Scotland be routed through the very heart of Glasgow, en route either north, east or south. People might even stop for an ice-cream on their way. Win Win Win for everyone...

Somewhere in the Glasgow Room of the Mitchell are the plans they had for Great Western Road. Now, they really were scary!


::):





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Postby james73 » Mon May 17, 2004 9:50 pm

skintobalinto wrote:Crusty_Bint, Fantastic these are excellent where did you get them.

I'm sure I remember a film about the proposed changes to Glasgows transport infrastructure. The "City Fathers" had a vision of a transport utopia, looked more like something out of Metropolis. does anyone remember this?


Yes, I do, but I dont remember where I saw it :?




skintobalinto wrote:They destroyed a lot of beautiful buildings for the sake of progress, when you look at the Virtual Mitchell and see what has now gone it makes you weep.


Yes it does :cry:




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Re: Glasgow Inner Ring Road

Postby james73 » Mon May 17, 2004 9:51 pm

crusty_bint wrote:The latest stage of expansion is already underway and can be viewed here, its also got a fanshy virtual fly-over!!!



Anyone know why the Windows version is upside down, or is it just me? :?

Nice pics, BTW.




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Postby red_kola » Mon May 17, 2004 9:55 pm

james73 wrote:
skintobalinto wrote:Crusty_Bint, Fantastic these are excellent where did you get them.

I'm sure I remember a film about the proposed changes to Glasgows transport infrastructure. The "City Fathers" had a vision of a transport utopia, looked more like something out of Metropolis. does anyone remember this?

Yes, I do, but I dont remember where I saw it :?


Is it the clips "Glasgow Today and Tomorrow" from the BBC site?
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Postby skintobalinto » Mon May 17, 2004 10:00 pm

Thanks Red_Kola
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Postby crusty_bint » Mon May 17, 2004 10:02 pm

Bear in mind that "Conservation" is a relatively modern concept and arose as the antithesis of Modernism post redevelopment. It seems ludicrous to us now that so much of Glasgow could be swept away for the sake of a road but back in the sixties Glasgow was stagnating.

Glasgows existing road system was charecterised by a plethora of radial routes with multitudinous interchanges. In 1956, the average journey speed in the centre of Glasgow was an apocraphyl 8.2 mph, stopped time accounted for 1/3 of journey time, treaffic was focused on the city centre, many roads were overloaded, the use of public transport was falling, private car ownership was increasing dramatically and road safety records were worsening: something had to be done!

As mentioned, the IRR was designed to slot into Glasgows (already sanctioned) CDA's which were to be razed regardless! The final plan was actually a much scaled-down version of previous proposals. Bruce's 1945 proposal was for 2 ring roads around the centre of Glasgow and several radial motorways which was then extended by Abercrombies Clyde Valley Regional Plan which recommended several other ring roads and radial arteries, shifting most of the population to New Towns.

Anywho... Im harping on here! Luckily the Eastern Flank was never completed and Glasgow Green was left in peace! The original design for it has now been scrapped and the M74 will be extended south of the Clyde to join with the M8 at Shields Rd underground car park, passing through already (mostly) derelict land.

Completion of the extension will ease the pressure from the Kingston Bridge (the busiest road bridge in Europe) and Charing Cross which were never designed to cope with volume of traffic using it today.
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Postby james73 » Mon May 17, 2004 10:08 pm

red_kola wrote:Is it the clips "Glasgow Today and Tomorrow" from the BBC site?


Aye, that's it - about 2.40 into the film. It's a nightmare - tower blocks
as far as the eye can see. 8O

As Billy Connolly often says, who are these bastards? :?





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Postby red_kola » Mon May 17, 2004 10:13 pm

crusty_bint wrote:
Glasgows existing road system was charecterised by a plethora of radial routes with multitudinous interchanges. In 1956, the average journey speed in the centre of Glasgow was an apocraphyl 8.2 mph, stopped time accounted for 1/3 of journey time, treaffic was focused on the city centre, many roads were overloaded, the use of public transport was falling, private car ownership was increasing dramatically and road safety records were worsening: something had to be done!


Repeat the Mantra:

    Something must be done

    This is Something

    Therefore we will do this

It's not logic. is it?

And it is not be for the reasons of conservation that I would be against the building a motorway through the centre of a city.
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Re: Glasgow Inner Ring Road

Postby james73 » Mon May 17, 2004 10:15 pm

crusty_bint wrote:Image


That image shows the god-awful North Glasgow Motorway idea - drain
the Forth & Clyde canal and build a motorway on top of it, like they did
with the Monkland Canal. The locations of this particular junction with the
extant North flank of the M8 are clearly identifiable, even now! Thanks christ
they ran out of money. I seem to recall efforts to 'complete' the eastern
flank as late as the mid-1980's, when the Townhead interchange was finally
completed. 8O



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Postby crusty_bint » Mon May 17, 2004 10:26 pm

Construction of the IRR was better than doing nothing tho! I totally agree that cutting a swathe through the city for it probably wasnt the most effective solution but this was the first time such a project had been undertaken, as I said: "where no standards existed, they were invented".

As for draining the defunct canals and building the road on top of them: is that not a better solution than knocking down more of the city?
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Postby Apollo » Mon May 17, 2004 10:27 pm

You do look at the great plan and wonder :roll:

Maybe it's having spent to much time going round the M25 or north circlular round London, but if they'd only done something similar back then and not just cut through heart of Glasgow maybe we wouldn't have lost so many worthy buildings. You've only got to try and find a back street rat run to avoid the M8 and Kingston Bridge when it's busy (or even if it's not) to find that there really isn't any practical alternative. Not to mention that all the closed off streets and odd one way bits mean that you need GPS to stop getting lost in your own back garden anyway.

I'd only started driving when it opened and it seemed to take ages for any one to start using it. Wish they hadn't ::): it was great for for months being able to get from Shettleston to city centre in less than 10 min :D
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