MT 39/352

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HIGHWAY DEVELOPMENT SURVEY (GREATER LONDON): Hyde Park Corner: surface lay-out

Date range1936-1938
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 39

Context

Accompanying the Bressey and Lutyens plans for a tunnel under Hyde Park Corner found in MT 39/351, this file discusses the options for remodelling the existing junction on the surface. The two proposals were initially developed in parallel, but as Bressey found support for the expensive and disruptive tunnel was fading, the surface level roundabout he proposed came to be the main proposal.

When reading this file it must be remembered that Hyde Park Corner in the 1930s was quite different to the junction today - in the early 1960s it was remodelled to create a large roundabout by cutting away part of Green Park and Buckingham Palace Gardens; until that time, it was a much smaller and more constrained junction, and before Park Lane was widened, Hamilton Place was the only route northwards, meaning that most north-south traffic had to travel along a short section of Piccadilly. The western part of the junction was effectively triangular but operated as an awkward roundabout under police control. Bressey and Lutyens proposed creating a rectangular roundabout, more symmetrical and rigid in shape than the current junction, with parkland in the middle to compensate for the loss of the parkland that would be cut away to make it.

They acknowledged that this would be difficult to sell to the public, who were typically opposed to any attempt to build in the Royal Parks, and had scale models produced in late 1936 to better illustrate the pleasing rearrangement of monuments and beautiful terraced gardens they were proposing.

Unfortunately this still wasn't enough to persuade the powers that be - in particular those responsible for the Royal Parks - and the scheme was kicked into the long grass.

Links to other files

MT 39/351 HIGHWAY DEVELOPMENT SURVEY (GREATER LONDON): Hyde Park Corner Tunnel (1936-1938)
MT 39/392 IMPROVEMENT AND NEW CONSTRUCTION: Improvement at Hyde Park Corner, London (1925-1947)

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.