YORK never does things by halves... except when it does things by halves.

Here’s a case in point: the half-completed A64 York bypass in 1975. When this photo was taken, the road, while clearly taking shape, was still very much under construction. It eventually opened in 1976.

York had been lobbying for an ‘outer ring road’ since 1948 - there was a mention of it in the Plan for the City of York of that year. But it wasn’t until 1976 that the first section, known as the York Bypass, opened. Until then, all the traffic going from Leeds to the coast had to go through the city centre, recalls Press chief reporter Mike Laycock. “You used to get stuck in the most mega jams.”

This photograph presumably shows the section of the road just south of York itself. Until you look closer, you could almost think it was a photograph of a shipyard, with the great hulk of a ship being built in dry-dock.  A temporary rail track had clearly had to be built to allow the giant crane in the left half of the picture to keep pace as the road was built. And we love the tangle of metal struts that spray out from the edge of the incomplete road - they make this huge construction of metal and concrete look like a piece of cloth that has been torn and frayed at the edges...

Stephen Lewis