Driving Spaces: A Cultural-Historical Geography of England's M1 Motorway

Merriman, Peter
Date published: 
August 2007

This academic study offers a unique perspective on the production and consumption of spaces of driving. Focusing on the design, construction and use of England's M1 motorway in the 1950s and 1960s, Peter Merriman traces the social and cultural geographies and histories of the spaces of motorway driving. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach, engaging with theoretical and empirical work from across the social sciences and humanities. It draws upon extensive archive research and contemporary debates within cultural and historical geography to examine a series of modern spaces which have been largely ignored by scholars in the social sciences and humanities. Merriman covers a wide range of topics, including the envisioning of Britain's motorways in the 1920, '30s and '40s, debates about the design, construction, landscaping and consumption of the M1 in the 1950s and 1960s, and changing attitudes to motoring and motorways since the 1960s. The book explores how the motorway was constructed as a modern space by politicians, designers, engineers, and scientists, as well as social commentators and the motoring public.