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The Belfast Urban Motorway: Engineering, Ambition and Social Conflict

In the heady days of 1967 the Northern Ireland government announced the construction of an elevated, three-lane motorway encircling Belfast City Centre. Drivers would be able to soar over Belfast’s streets on sleek, concrete flyovers while mothers with prams chatted beneath.

The Belfast Urban Motorway: Engineering, Ambition and Social Conflict
Publication Information
ISBN: 9781780730479
RRP: £15.00 
Format: Paperback, 232 pages, 208mm x 257mm, 2014
Photos/Illustrations: not stated
Subject: Transport History
Publisher: Colourpoint Books
Author: Wesley Johnston
The Belfast Urban Motorway: Engineering, Ambition and Social Conflict by Wesley Johnston

In the heady days of 1967 the Northern Ireland government announced the construction of an elevated, three-lane motorway encircling Belfast City Centre. Drivers would be able to soar over Belfast’s streets on sleek, concrete flyovers while mothers with prams chatted beneath.

It would require demolition on an unprecedented scale; yet the government felt that it was necessary to prevent exponential traffic growth from choking the city.

Ten years later the plan was dead, only to be resurrected in a different form. This is a story that combines many of the great themes of Belfast’s recent history – including class conflict, urban redevelopment, the ‘Troubles’, the role of the government and the public/private transport debate.

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