From Turnpikes to Motorways

This talk by Gordon Knowles took us from the medieval period when a man drowned in a pothole on The Causeway between Staines and Egham to the M25. It is hard to believe that Surrey was poorly off for roads and sparsely populated then. Most traffic would have gone by water transport, The Turnpike Trusts improved roads and charging travellers (they had to pay to pass through the turnpike gate) funded this . Milestones were made compulsory so the costs could be calculated without argument. Surrey County Council became responsible for Surrey’s road in 1889. A Surrey man played a significant role in the repeal of the Red Flag Act. Plans after the Second World War gave high priority to London Orbital Roads and this led to the M25. A section of the M3 opened in 1971 and the Egham to Thorpe section of the M25 in 1976.

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