£3.4bn is being spent on widening the M25 on a 22 mile stretch. £657M was spent on 5 miles to link the M8 and M74 in Glasglow. We are talking over £100M a mile for these types of schemes.
Even putting some car parking on the pavement and mucking around with some tarmac costs around £0.5M
In 1994 the M11 link road was built through Leytonstone effectively cutting a swathe through Waltham Forest between Leyton and Leytonstone. It was 4 miles and cost £250M
It was the subject of a large protest, and heated debates. A government spokesman at the time said
'This road will relieve a hugely congested part of London. The Leyton High Road is choc-a-bloc every day and this will take that traffic away from it and make the area breathable.'
And so the scheme went ahead.
And various promises were made about the improvement in environment in Leytonstone and Leyton areas. Freewheeler wrote a comprehensive article concerning how the proposals for reducing car dominance on these local roads were watered down over time until they were so insipid that they meant nothing.
But what is the M11 link road like now? Has it relieved congestion for those deciding to travel by car through East London?
|M11 link road at Leytonstone|
Oh. This typical picture taken at around 6:30pm doesn't seem to indicate that a "hugely congested area of London" has been "relieved".
The government spokesman also said that
"The Leyton High Road is choc-a-bloc every day and this will take that traffic away from it and make the area breathable."
Well thank goodness for that. At least Leyton High Road has had the traffic taken away from it and the air is as sweet as summer meadows. Because surely such an expensive and controversial scheme would be an utter embarrassment if even this fundamental aim wasn't realised.
|Leyton High Road at the same time|
But surely there must be something special about the M11 link road that means it hasn't relieved any congestion, but instead caused more? After all, if building more roads in general led to more traffic and ended up making congestion worse then spending billions on road expansion schemes even now would be ridiculous?
Albert Einstein defined insanity as "