Fred Inglis on the blitzed and poisoned landscape of the M32

Joe Moran's On Roads quotes Fred Inglis's 1975 essay "Roads, office blocks and the new misery", presumably (but not necessarily) referring to construction of the M32, which destroyed, amongst other things, the St Annes neighbourhood of Bristol. It would appear that this essay no longer exists in the modern world. I haven't yet decided whether it's worth the effort of setting my time machine to "library" to go and retrieve it.

The anti-roads movement brought together this strand of preservationism with a left-liberal disdain for the takeover of cities by cabals of political and business interests. The Bristol University English lecturer, Fred Inglis, dispensed with scholarly detachment to attack the 'blitzed and poisoned landscape' created by a new flyover cutting through his city. Inglis added a political edge to Leavisite humanism, arguing that the road planners' 'flow-chart efficiencies' were 'a brutal and irrational effort to solve a trivial difficulty by destroying everything in the way'. The urban motorway was a symbol of 'intellectual tunnel vision … It is as if, like American policy in Vietnam, you annihilate all natural and human life in an area, strip the trees and drive out the homesteaders in order to call the country pacified.'


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