enjoyed this, from Chris Mosey's Car Wars, p64.
And it came to pass that in the white heat of Wilson's scientific revolution, the planners decreed that Birmingham — Britain's second city in the industrial West Midlands — would become the country's 'motorway city'. The majority of the citizens of Birmingham — a place of decaying red brick terraced housing and industrial smokestacks — latched onto the dream, thinking their living conditions would improve as a result. They were told that motorways, raised on concrete pillars to cut right across the city, would regenerate the region, improve communications with the rest of the country and attract industry. At the same time slums would be demolished. A city official can be seen in old newsreel, exclaiming euphorically, "I'm hoping and I believe it will be true that Birmingham will be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe when this redevelopment job is completed."