Coventry Ring Road turns 40 years old

By Ben Craig 

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40 years ago the Ring Road was born.

If you ask anyone who visits Coventry what the most distinctive thing is about the city it is likely you will only get one answer. Unfortunately, it is not the beautiful combination of two cathedrals, or the distinctly modern looking Coventry University or the grouping of shopping centres in the heart of the city. It would be the very functional but regrettably ugly construction that is the Coventry Ring Road.

Otherwise known as the A4503, the relatively successful piece of engineering that circles the inner city is 40 years old this year. Completed in 1974 when the Ringway St. John’s and Ringway St. Patrick’s was built, the first piece of road was erected 12 years previous in 1962. Have a look at our interactive map to see the stages at which each part was built.

The Ring Road continues to outline the city centre, encompassing our two cathedrals, Broadgate and West Orchards Shopping Centres, Coventry University, the Sky Dome Arena and many other important Coventry places of interest, allowing easy navigation from one side of the city to the other.

Although it is one of Coventry’s most distinctive landmarks, the series of roads continue to be a controversial topic amongst the local residents. When it was built there was concerns over the cost (an estimated £4.2 million) and disruption to residents (over 700 houses were bulldozed) and now many people claim it is out-dated and difficult to navigate.

Whether you like it or not, the Ring Road continues to be a major factor in Coventry’s traffic management whilst also being an iconic symbol of this city.

 

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