Octopus's Garden

Issue Sixty-Four

11th January 2010

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Sub-editorial

HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own Railway Rivals opening. It's a subzeen to Jim Burgess' The Abbysinian Prince. Produced by Peter Sullivan, peter@burdonvale.co.uk. It's also available on the web at http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/.


The Road Goes Ever On

One web site that I have been spending worrying amounts of time on over the last month or so is Pathetic Motorways (http://pathetic.org.uk). It was, I guess, pretty inevitable, in that (as both a map geek and a road numbering geek) this website is, for me, pretty much the website equivalent of crack cocaine.

As the website itself explains "Pathetic Motorways is dedicated to those motorways within the United Kingdom and Ireland that do not get the limelight. Those that are relatively short, or perhaps relatively unknown, as well as motorways that were planned, but never actually constructed."

What's especially fascinating for me are the planned motorways in and around Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where T. Dan Smith had vast, ambitious plans for motorways to the west, east and further east of the city. And a particularly madcap scheme to build a single mile of underground motorway (at 9m in 1969 prices!) to link the west and east motorways, using the (fairly self-explanatory) "cut and cover" method.

In the event, all of these plans were abandoned once the Tyne and Wear County Council was set up in 1974, and took over from the city council as the transport authority. As they diverted the funding from these unbuilt roads to build the Tyne and Wear Metro system instead.

As it is, all that's left of these grandiose plans is the Central Motorway. Although, for a road that was only opened in 1975, it's had its share of road numbers -- starting life as the A1(M), before becoming the A6127(M) and eventually the A167(M).

Did I mention that I'm a road numbering geek? Well, you can't say that you weren't warned.


Waiting Lists

Railway Rivals (France): William Whyte, Geoff Challinger (3 or 4 wanted).

If you want in on this, please contact me at peter@burdonvale.co.uk.

Postal rules are at http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/rr.html.


That was Octopus's Garden #64, a Startling Press production.

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