Monday 13 January 2014 8.53pm
The flyover runs over what used to be the road junction between New Kent Road
, Old Kent Road
, Great Dover Street
and Tower Bridge Road
. At ths point there was a Library, shops and a Theatre. At the junction of Tower Bridge Road
and Old Kent Road
the Bricklayers Arms pub was located. This road junction has been here since Roman times and was obliterated in pretty shocking example of traffic engineering arrogance.
The Paragon Crescent existed on the South side of New Kent Road
and was swept away by the widening of New Kent Road
which was part of this project.
The whole area was cleared from 1968 onwards to make space for the road junction, but despite heavy bombing nearby, this wholescale demolition was not as a result of WWII, but was planned as part of an inner ring-road or motorway box. The NW section of this project was built however, and is called the Westway.
Local political opposition in London and the oil crisis scuppered the scheme in the early seventies. I also suspect that the money ran out as the country entered a serious recession and political crisis.
A terrace of victorian buildings on the North side Old Kent Road
survives almost as far as the roundabout - this gives you an idea of what the original street layout was like. At the centre of the roundabout you can still see the old LCC tramway manhole covers in exactly the same location as they were before the municipal vandalism began.