ATV Today: 22.05.1972: The Spaghetti Junction Story


The story of the construction of Spaghetti Junction (Gravelly Hill interchange) on the outskirts of Birmingham.





Film type:

Colour / Sound



Master format:



Shot of Range Rover police car on Spaghetti Junction prior to completion. Superintendent Bob Morris is interviewed and describes the junction as one of the most complex in the world but he is confident that the Gravelly Hill Interchange will be safe.

Bev Smith piece to camera which cuts to library pictures showing the construction of the Gravelly Hill interchange during 1970 and 1971. Reg Harcourt continues with a commentary listing statistics about the construction. This is followed by shots of the interior of the Police Control Centre at Perry Barr where there are references made to the need for special recovery vehicles so that the police and AA can respond quickly to breakdowns (there is no hard shoulder on the A38M Aston Expressway). Library shots of the Automobile Association's recovery vehicle are included. CCTV is used extensively and on the control centre's monitors we see pedestrians crossing the Aston Expressway despite the speed and quantity of vehicles on it. The use of computers is also highlighted with shots of the tape based system in the control centre. Bev Smith talks to Colin Sutton who is the commander of the Midland Link motorway police group. Point of view shot driving on new road accompanied by out of vision vox pops with motorists. Finally Bev drives on the new road with John Darlington of RoSPA and we see his point of view along the unfinished M6 and then turning left onto the Aston Expressway slip road.


No credits specified


Includes material originally in ATV Today 9 February 1970 (construction), 27 September 1971 (construction, Bob Morris, Range Rover, American roads expert and the Bev Smith pieces to camera - also the drive on the new road was sourced from that report) and 1 May 1972 (AA vehicles).