This is the story of the most astonishing and destructive thing never to happen to London. It was far-reaching and visionary; planning on a scale rarely seen in this country. It was a transport scheme to end all transport schemes. And it was utterly unacceptable to the general public.

This section of Roads.org.uk explores the London Ringways - a proposal to drive a dense network of motorways through and around the capital. It was a plan created by successive governments in London from the 1940s through to the 1970s that would have affected life in the capital in every conceivable way, changing the way London looked and functioned.

You can explore the pages in whatever order you like, but in sequence they tell the story of the creation and destruction of one of the most audacious schemes of public works ever proposed in the UK. They then go on to explore the road plans and plot them on detailed modern-day maps road by road, section by section. At the end you can access a detailed map of everything we know so far.

New to this subject? There's a quick overview called Ringways for Beginners over at our sister site, Pathetic Motorways.

Some pages are not yet available

At the present time some of the Ringways pages are almost ten years out of date. They are being rewritten to include more detail, new research and more illustrations. Each page is made available here once it's up to date.

Ringway 1

Ringway 2

Ringway 3

Ringway 4

Northern radials

Western radials



A40 and A40(M)

M4 and A4

M3 and A316

Southern radials




Parkway E

A20 and A20(M)

A2 and A2(M)

Secondary Road Network


Radial Route 6

Eastern Avenue Extension

Richmond Hill Tunnel

Dagenham Corridor