The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 11 (1933) > Issues > Issue 1 > The Lay-Out of Roads in Towns Discussion on Colonel C.H. Bressey's Paper
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The Lay-Out of Roads in Towns Discussion on Colonel C.H. Bressey's Paper

Mr. CURZON HARPER (Member) said the excellence of the paper as published in The Structural Engineer had been considerably added to by the many interesting slides the author had exhibited, and, personally, he regarded it as one of the best papers and one of the best displays of slides he had ever seen. As to the desirability and advantage of constructing roads round towns instead of widening those already existing in the towns, he contended there was in most cases nothing for the shopkeeper to fear from this type of development. The quieter a street was from the point of view of general traffic the better it was adapted for shopping because those quieter shopping streets became what might be called open air arcades. Those who had had the pleasure of going shopping with their wives would have noticed the tendency, explainable only in the feminine mind, not to follow down one line of shops but to go from one side of the street, to the other, and there was obviously an advantage in limiting the amount of fast vehicular traffic from that point of view. The author had shown what an interesting feature old town gates could be, instancing the one at Conway which, although only 9 ft. wide, accommodated a large volume of traffic. He, himself, would like to see included the old gate in Ludlow, Shropshire, which was on the main road from Hereford to Shrewsbury. There the highway was only about 7 ft. between kerbs but it was an excellent old example which he would be sorry to see done away with or even made an isolated feature. It was part of the old town wall and, whenever he travelled that way, he always made a point of going through that old gate. As regards the excellent slides that had been shown, if he might venture one small criticism it would be that so many of them were aerial views. Of course, it followed that if a scheme looked good from the air in many cases it was also good on the ground, but that did not necessarily follow. Reference had been made by the author to the advantage of automatic signals and it would have been valuable if more could have been said with regard to the diagram of the timing of these signals, so as to show the advantages or disadvantages of automatic signals worked by the vehicles themselves, as was being done in Cornhill. He believed this system had decided advantages. The view of the Rainham by-pass led him to suggest that a by-pass like that had a double use. It not only served the purpose for which it was intended originally but it also enabled the more leisurely traffic to use the old route in comfort. Very often that was desirable and, in that particular case, those who wished to do so could see such features as the excellent church to which attention had been drawn. Another matter which interested him was the view shown of the bridge at Barking. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he happened to be deputy borough engineer at Barking and some years ago it fell to his lot in a very humble capacity to prepare data to oppos