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Inner Ring Road

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NeilsYard
Coventry
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1 of 219  Sat 2nd Feb 2013 9:57pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1518

There's some good footage of the Ring Road being built running on a loop in the Motor Museum. There's some terrifically sad shots of the roads that disappeared being bulldozed. I think there may have been some photos on here some time ago.
Inner Ring Road
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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2 of 219  Sat 2nd Feb 2013 11:04pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3853

Hi NeilsYard Wave Both my mum's & an aunt's shop were bulldozed in White St. The compulsory purchase order was ten years in advance, my mum received her's in 1957. She was older than my aunt, & took advantage of it early & let to another trader on a short term lease. My aunt was trading right up to the last day and in the library archive pics, her shop 'Melton Products', was pictured on the last day, looking as if it was going to continue for ever. Wave She had even cleaned the double windows & the signage on the last day. Wave
Inner Ring Road
dutchman
Spon End
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3 of 219  Sat 2nd Feb 2013 11:13pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3082

On 2nd Feb 2013 11:04pm, PhilipInCoventry said: Both my mum's & an aunt's shop were bulldozed in White St.
As also was my home in Gosford Street Sad
Inner Ring Road
flapdoodle
Coventry
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4 of 219  Sat 2nd Feb 2013 11:54pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:826

I get the impression that the ring road was mainly the work of the city's engineers, who had some ambitious ideas and wanted to try out some new techniques. This might account for the somewhat dubious planning of the thing and the way it almost randomly cuts around the city and carves it up into this odd landscape of stranded streets, car parks and flyovers. They planned to have it heated, but the costs had gone up so much they had to cancel it - but I believe a small section was heated. In most cities, people go to the centre to use the centre and then come out again, and one of the functions of the ring road was to make that easy (i.e. you go in, round, get to your destination easier - not that there's much point, as you can't really go anywhere in the city centre anymore by car). In Coventry the majority of people head for the city centre to use the ring road as a bypass and then go out again. Apparently, few of the journeys on the ring road begin or end in the city centre. I've also read that it has never really been used to 'capacity' (although what does this mean? Every day there are queues at the Holyhead Road junction and they sometimes stretch back to the Foleshill Roundabout). The usual defence is that it 'works'. Works as what? A bypass? A distributor? And now it's an 'asset'? Why is it an asset? Has it encouraged businesses to move into the city centre? I can't see much evidence for that, as it's mainly surrounded by dead land and even the areas where there are exits are quite dead (a lot of it's empty land, and some of it has been like that since before the recession). Maybe it's just me, but I don't see anything other than a 2 mile dual carriageway surrounded by a lot of land that appears to used for nothing more than car parks or cheap buildings, some of them looking temporary or semi-derelict. Despite the claims that there are no traffic problems (there are, I see them; and Coventry hardly has the busiest city centre anyway due to the lack of businesses there). I see no evidence that it's attracting business into the city centre. I suspect that companies looking to move to a city centre would be more interesting in transport links rather than fast roads, as there's limited scope for parking in city centres - and look at what they did in Coventry? They physically cut the main station from the city centre with the ring road. Absolutely ridiculous. I think it's strange that 10 years ago, when they had big plans for the wholesale redevelopment of places like Swanswell, they were talking about how bad it was and how they wanted to lower it and turn it into a boulevard type of road. Then all of a sudden it's an asset to a city that's got half completed projects dating back years, dwindling retail and whole areas of empty buildings, and a whole heap of cash wasted on consultants & architects who came up with some, frankly, terrible plans. That 'Jerde Plan' was hilariously bad. I imagine the ring road will outlive me, anyway Lol Here's to another 40 years of gyrating around the city centre on concrete! Lol
Inner Ring Road
NormK
bulkington
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5 of 219  Sun 3rd Feb 2013 1:01pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:848

I don't know how much money the guys earned building the Ring Road, one of them used to drink in the Trafalgar Arms, and every weekend he would pay for everybody's beer all night, and nobody knew him except he was lodging nearby. Very happy days! Cheers Cheers Cheers
Milly rules

Inner Ring Road
flapdoodle
Coventry
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6 of 219  Sun 3rd Feb 2013 4:09pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:826

I believe they were very well paid, as it was quite dangerous work.
Inner Ring Road
NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
7 of 219  Sun 3rd Feb 2013 7:16pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1518

Amazed - ten years in advance! Thats forward planning. It does work well but inflicted a lot of damage IMO. Really strangles the city and created a lot of dead zones. I recall trying to make my way home many times in the 80's after a night out in town. You really had to have your wits about you going through the subways at 0300 Sat/Sun morning.
Inner Ring Road
mickmitro
tile hill coventry
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8 of 219  Mon 4th Feb 2013 12:23am  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:20

I don't know if it's a bit of an urban legend but I heard/read, not sure where, that some of the symmetry on the ring road was due to the fact that there was a lot of speculation in the 60s that the UK was possibly going to change to driving on the right.
Inner Ring Road
Midland Red
Cherwell
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9 of 219  Mon 4th Feb 2013 8:24am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4300

There was a story going round that, following the gradual introduction of decimal currency being so successful, we were also going to have a gradual introduction of driving on the right Big grin
Inner Ring Road
Primrose
USA
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10 of 219  Mon 4th Feb 2013 1:52pm  
Off-topic / chat  

PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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11 of 219  Mon 4th Feb 2013 2:37pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Midland Red
Cherwell
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12 of 219  Mon 4th Feb 2013 2:55pm  
Off-topic / chat  

PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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13 of 219  Mon 4th Feb 2013 3:00pm  
Off-topic / chat  

flapdoodle
Coventry
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14 of 219  Tue 5th Feb 2013 12:09am  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:826

Creating a ring road like around such a small area in a dense city made up of a fairly well established urban grid was a pretty strange thing to do, and perhaps totally unsuitable when you look at how there isn't enough room for proper junctions. Maybe a route for getting around the city should have been further out? Tonight I saw an unbelievable manoeuvre on the way home from work. A car pulled right across from the outside lane at right angles to a white van and then literally drove the wrong way for a short time to get off an exit they had missed. What makes this even more idiotic is that it's a circle. Either keep going round or just get off and go back again at the next junction! Best thing they did in Birmingham was start getting rid of the inner ring road.
Inner Ring Road
AD
Allesley Park
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15 of 219  Tue 5th Feb 2013 1:42pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:390

I'm of a similar thinking to flapdoodle, although slightly more sympathetic to the ring road. Something akin to the ring road was needed in order to prevent huge amounts of ever increasing traffic flowing directly through the city centre, but the planning and execution of it was was gone about with very poorly indeed. Similar to Broadgate it totally ignored what was there, and a design was just plonked over it and whatever was in the way destroyed. So many routes into and out of the city centre got disconnected and it's hardly any surprise this affected trade and the number of people using the city centre. The connecting roads weren't really considered as to their suitability or the need to upgrade/widen them to cope with the ring road traffic and it is these that cause a majority of the problem. Some are single lane, others which are dual carriageway are used as parking lanes and effectively become single lane. Radford Road is often tailbacked almost to Keresley, Allesley Old Road usually comes to a standstill just outside Allesley Park. When I worked in town I walked in the three miles and got there quicker than the bus/car. There are also far too many junctions and too close together, and utilising the same intersections for people coming both on and off is far from ideal, especially for the uninitiated. I was with a friend from out of the city and they watched this and they described it as watching an amateur stunt driving performance with the cars criss-crossing each other at speed. The same person also commented on how on earth they were supposed to get out of the city centre on foot as they couldn't see anywhere that let them cross this four-lane mini-motorway. I pointed out the subways to which she replied "Is this actually a prison and you've all been secretly digging tunnels to escape!" Some people say the ring road works well but I assume that these must be people who only ever use it as a by-pass and don't go into the city centre. It's incredibly frustrating sitting in traffic for 15-20 minutes but once inside the ring road it's practically empty. Those people who complain about lights being added into it and disrupting the flow of traffic clearly see it as something bigger than it is, almost a race track. I have the A45, a much more important road, very close to my house but can easily cross it at level, even in years gone by a little worse for wear shall we say. You wouldn't dream of doing that with the ring road even with all your wits and faculties about you. I think it validates its own existence of seemingly working well by not letting the city centre reach its potential. It acts as a deterrent to people to go into the city centre, thereby putting off businesses and retailers from setting up there and therefore giving even less reason to venture into the centre. The ring road is killing the city centre. If Coventry city centre had as much traffic and people passing through it as a city this size should, the ring road and the roads connecting to it would prove woefully inadequate and be in gridlock. Even in these days of a woefully under-performing centre at times I've experienced days at rush hour where the inside lane is at a complete standstill from J6 all along the western side to J1. Imagine it with a thriving city centre economy! I've got many stories of non-locals who got jobs here but actively avoided the city centre solely because of the ring road, and the junctions especially. One woman added 2-3 miles onto her journey after travelling into Coventry via motorway, A-roads and country lanes just so she could miss it out. So many outsiders REALLY, REALLY hate it. I thought the Swanswell plan was a good idea and could have been the first step in the removal of the dominance of the ring-road, but it steadily got downgraded until it was quietly abandoned like so much before it. I dread the changes planned for Friargate as I think those will cause problems and be used as proof by pro-ring roaders that it shouldn't be messed with and see it dominate for another 25-50 years.
Inner Ring Road

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