Ringways

This is the story of the most astonishing and destructive thing never to happen to London. It was far-reaching and visionary; planning on a scale rarely seen in this country. It was a transport scheme to end all transport schemes. And it was utterly unacceptable to the general public.

This section of Roads.org.uk explores the London Ringways - a proposal to drive a dense network of motorways through and around the capital. It was a plan created by successive governments in London from the 1940s through to the 1970s that would have affected life in the capital in every conceivable way, changing the way London looked and functioned.

You can explore the pages in whatever order you like, but in sequence they tell the story of the creation and destruction of one of the most audacious schemes of public works ever proposed in the UK. They then go on to explore the road plans and plot them on detailed modern-day maps road by road, section by section. At the end you can access a detailed map of everything we know so far.

New to this subject? There's a quick overview called Ringways for Beginners over at our sister site, Pathetic Motorways.

Some pages are not yet available

At the present time some of the Ringways pages are nearly fifteen years out of date. They are being rewritten to include more detail, new research and more illustrations. Each page is made available here once it's up to date.

London with the Ringways
Expected mid 2022
Driving the Ringways
Expected mid 2022

Ringway 1

Ringway 2

Ringway 3

Ringway 4

Northern radials

Western radials

Southern radials

Introduction
Expected early 2022
A3
Expected early 2022
M23
Expected early 2022
Parkway E
Expected early 2022
A20 and A20(M)
Expected early 2022
A2 and A2(M)
Expected early 2022

Secondary Road Network

Introduction
Expected late 2022
A40(M) Westway
Expected late 2022
Radial Route 6
Expected late 2022
Eastern Avenue Extension
Expected late 2022
Dagenham Corridor
Expected late 2022
Richmond Hill Tunnel
Expected late 2022

What's new

Go west! New Ringways pages are here

A new set of Ringways pages are now online, looking at unbuilt motorways and road projects west of London.

No smoke without ire

London's Ultra Low Emission Zone has just expanded to cover the whole inner city, and across the UK, other cities are implementing their own Clean Air Zones. Is this the future?

Devon help us

Road signs are colour coded for different types of road, but in Devon there are more colours than anywhere else. What do Devon's colourful signs mean?

Have you seen...

M1-A1 Link Road

Those last few miles of the M1 east of Leeds were completed in 1999. It looks for the most part like a fairly average piece of road, but one of the project's engineers describes some of the challenges that were faced.