Road & Airport Design & Construction during the Latter Half of 20th Century


Len Parker

History 2016 Yearbook

This paper is a brief review of the design and construction of roads and airports between the end of World War II and the start of the third millennium; and should be read in conjunction with the table at the end of this article ‘Defining Topics in Each Sector’. The focus is on UK expertise, irrespective of whether that was being expended in the homeland or in other parts of the world as a result of contractor, consultant or governmental assistance to commonwealth and developing nations. The issues are discussed in broad terms and the examples selected from the author’s own experience. There are numerous other valid viewpoints described in the professional literature of the period and the intention is that this paper should aid those looking forward to the next fifty years by understanding some of the lessons learned in the past half century. Although the emphasis is on roads and airports, other sectors of transport infrastructure have had, and in future, will have, even more significant influence on our environment, e.g. the decimation of the UK railway network in the 1960s changed the nature of goods distribution, making it impossible to service local needs and businesses other than by an increase in road transport.

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