Driving Spaces. A Cultural-Historical Geography of England's M1 Motorway. RGS-IBG Book Series

  • ID: 2249730
  • Book
  • Region: England
  • 320 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This academic study offers a unique perspective on the production and consumption of spaces of driving. Focusing on the design, construction and use of England’s M1 motorway in the 1950s and 1960s, Peter Merriman traces the social and cultural geographies and histories of the spaces of motorway driving. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach, engaging with theoretical and empirical work from across the social sciences and humanities. It draws upon extensive archive research and contemporary debates within cultural and historical geography to examine a series of modern spaces which have been largely ignored by scholars in the social sciences and humanities. Merriman covers a wide range of topics, including the envisioning of Britain’s motorways in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s, debates about the design, construction, landscaping and consumption of the M1 in the 1950s and 1960s, and changing attitudes to motoring and motorways since the 1960s. The book explores how the motorway was constructed as a modern space by politicians, designers, engineers, and scientists, as well as social commentators and the motoring public.
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List of Figures.

Series Editors′ Preface.

Acknowledgements.

1 Introduction: Driving Spaces.

Mobilities.

Driving, Space, Social Relations.

Driving, Landscape, Visuality.

Geographies of the Modern Road.

Contents of the Book.

2 Envisioning British Motorways.

Motoring and the Motor–Car Way, 1896–1930.

The German Autobahnen: The Politics and Aesthetics of a Nation′s Roads.

Motorways for Britain? National Plans, National Defence.

Motorways, War and Reconstruction.

Motorways and the British Landscape.

3 Designing and Landscaping the M1.

Legislating and Campaigning: Towards a National Motorway Network.

Locating the M1: Regional Planning, Local Protests and the Authority of the Engineer.

Landscape Architecture and the Post–war, Modern Road.

′A New Look at the English Landscape′: Landscape Architecture, Movement and the Aesthetics of a Modern Motorway.

Towards a Road Style: Service Areas in the Landscape.

′Cutting Holes in the Landscape′: Britain′s Motorway Signs.

4 Constructing the M1.

′Operation Motorway′: Constructing the M1 Motorway.

Song of a Road: Folk Song, Working–Class Culture and the Labour of a Motorway.

5 Driving, Consuming and Governing the M1.

Motorway Driving, Embodiment, Competence.

′Motorway Madness′: Driving, Governing, Expertise.

Motorway Modern: Consuming the M1.

Motorway Service Areas and the Motorist–Consumer.

Assessing the M1’s Performance: Cost–Benefi t Analysis, Scientifi c Experiments, Accidents.

6 Motorways and Driving since the 1960s.

The ′M1 Corridor′.

Motorways and ′the Environment′.

Dystopian and Marginal Landscapes?

Placeless Environments?

Placing the M1 in the Late Twentieth and Twenty–First Centuries.

Appendix: Archival Sources.

Notes.

References.

Index.

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"While I wish that he had synthesized his research in a strong conclusion, this criticism should not diminish the merits of the book. The empirical results and the study′s framework deserve a firm place in the history of technology." (Technology & Culture, 1 January 2011)

"Merriman’s systematic, detailed and precisely documented description of the cultural context of the M1 will itself stand as a valuable documentary resource for researchers and students alike" (Area, December 2008)

"Thoroughly researched and full of rich … Driving Spaces presents the historical trajectory of the M1 Motorway through a series of cultural and political stages." (Journal of British Studies, October 2008)

“Merriman provides a fascinating perspective on the social and cultural aspects of driving and highways … in this multidisciplinary study. Includes … numerous references … .Recommended.” (Choice)

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