On Roads – Joe Moran

On Roads – Joe Moran – http://joemoransblog.blogspot.com/

Purchased this thinking it’d be a book version of the great UK Road site Sabre. But it’s Not…While it does cover the initial start of the Motorway network in the post WWII years, it glosses over a lot of the details mainly concentrating on just the opening of the M56 Preston bypass and the first section of the M1. So much for hoping that it would provide all the nice technical details and hidden secrets I’d been hoping for.Instead it concentrates on looking the overall impact on Britain caused by the huge improvement made on the roads (both the building of the motorways and the improvement of A,B and lowly C roads). There’s good discussion (amongst other things) of

  • The equality (and resistance to) bought about by the lower cost of motoring and the increasing ability of the ‘lower’ classes to drive after they came back from war.
  • The new views on ‘manners’ and how people were affected in how they could respond. Leading into road rage as an idea. he picked up on the idea that we’re always suprised by other people’s actions on the roads, whereas we’ve normally always seen it before and shouldn’t really be surpised. (So true after 15 years of driving I’m still suprised by the same stupidity as I was at 17)
  • The environmental impact on the landscape versus how roads have also helped to restore/recreate some habitats (the verges of Motorways being perfect for much flora and beloved of much fauna as well). A pretty balanced view on the whole touchy subject.
  • overall a very good book, I’ve come away with a decent list of other books to read and also plenty more facts and figures to remember for dull Motorway journeys.

    Complaints, only one real one, the lack of diagrams and pictures, surely there was some room to include an example of the UK motorway system, or of some of the structures or areas mentioned in the main text.

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