Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): MCC/CL/L/HY

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1838-1965

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 33.1 linear metres

Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

Rapid local development, the tremendous increae in motor transport and national requirements such as Heathrow Airport all greatly influenced the Middlexsex County Council road programme; necessitating new and widened roads and dual carriageways. In the post-war period emphasis was laid upon relief of traffic congestion and reduction of accidents by junction improvements and the construction of pedestrian subways. A policy of landscaping and amenity treatment led to the planting of trees and shrubs and the extensive use of grass verges. Middlesex works undertaken by the Ministry of Transport completed the picture with two motorways, the M1 into Hendon and the M4 connection to London Airport.

The highways pattern for Middlesex stemmed from the radial roads originally built by the Romans - Watling Street to Saint Albans is now Edgware Road; Ermine Street to Lincoln is now Hertford Road and the western road to Silchester is now Staines Road. These radial routes remained of importance and were primarily supplemented by the Great West Road, Western Avenue, Watford and Barnet by-passes and the Great Cambridge Road which, in turn, have been linked by the North Circular Road, which traversed Middlesex from Kew Bridge to the Essex boundary. In 1889 the Council was responsible for 128 miles of road, as compared with 640 miles in 1964.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex County Council Clerk's Legal Department relating to highways, 1838-1965, including papers regarding extensions to the Great West Road and Western Avenue; papers relating to the acquisition of land for road improvements; papers regarding the North Circular Road; papers regarding road building schemes implemented for unemployment relief; papers relating to the acquisition of the Duke of Northumberland's River; files relating to compulsory purchase orders and Acquisition of Land Committee register of properties. Also general files on a variety of subjects including illumination of traffic signs; automatic traffic control signals; pedestrian crossings; pollution of rivers; passenger charges schemes; the Operation of Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950; contracts and tenders for the maintenance of trunk and county roads; agreements with the Ministry of Transport and erosion of the banks of the River Thames.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

MCC/CL/L/HY-1: General

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent authority, the Middlesex County Council, and with successor authorities.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

See also reference MCC/CL/HY, Clerk's Department papers relating to Highways and plans at MCC/CL/DP.

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the Middlesex County Council please see Middlesex by Sir Clifford Radcliffe (2 editions, 1939 and 1953), LMA Library reference 97.09 MID; and The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex: 76 years of local government, 1 April 1889 to 31 March 1965, by Middlesex County Council (1965), LMA library reference S97.09 MID.



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: April to June 2009

Compulsory purchase orders (land) | Compulsory purchase orders | Planning control | Town and country planning | Urban development
Pedestrian crossings | Transport infrastructure
Rivers | Surface water | Water resources
Road construction | Road engineering | Civil engineering | Construction engineering
Road construction workers | Construction industry personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Road maintenance | Maintenance | Engineering
Road safety | Transport safety | Safety
Road signs | Information transfer | Communication process
Transport costs | Transport economics | Transport
Water pollution | Pollution | Environmental degradation
Road safety x Transport safety

Personal names

Corporate names
Clerk's Department | Middlesex County Council
MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council
Ministry of Transport

Duke of Northumberland's River | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Isleworth Mill Stream | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Middlesex | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Thames, river | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe