Episodes

First
Broadcast
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20040511

1/5. The Blue and the Green.

A five-part celebration of some of our most familiar, but unrecognised design classics: the road sign, the white line, the roundabout, the green man and the traffic calmer. Some are regarded as international design classics, others bemuse overseas visitors as eccentric. But as Joe Kerr finds out behind them lie forgotten histories, and fifty years of combined brainpower from typographers, psychologists, engineers and ordinary members of the public.

In the first programme, Joe meets the woman who was one half of the partnership who in the 1960s came up with the distinctive look of British road signs. Today they are heralded as a triumph of design. And if you've ever wondered who drew the pictures on our signs - this programme reveals all.

20040601

4/5. Pedestrian Crossings.

Joe Kerr takes a further look at the intriguing histories behind some of the most common features of our road system.

The motor car and the pedestrian have had an uneasy relationship, from the advent of the belisha beacon crossings in 1934 to the present day. Joe Kerr investigates and tells the story of the ampelmann - the Berlin pedestrian traffic signal that became a cultural icon to East Germans after reunification.

20040608

Joe Kerr takes a further look at the intriguing histories behind some of the most common features of our road system.

5. The Road Hump

Love them or hate them, road humps have a secret history, as Joe Kerr uncovers on a journey which takes him from Blackbird Leys council estate near Oxford - where the prototype hump was first tested in Britain - to Delft in the 1960s and the philosophy of the Dutch voonerf as pioneered by Joost Vahl.

20050425

Joe Kerr presents a series celebrating Britain's traffic control devices. 1/5. The Blue and the Green: The distinctive look of British road signs dates back to the 1960s. Then News.

20050426

Joe Kerr presents a series celebrating Britain's traffic control devices. 2/5. The Roundabout: The jewel in the crown of British traffic engineers is actually a French invention. Then News.

20050427

Joe Kerr presents a series celebrating Britain's traffic control devices. 3/5. White Line, Yellow Line: Why are our roads are now so completely covered in markings of all colours?

20050428

Joe Kerr presents a series celebrating Britain's traffic control devices. 4/5. Pedestrian Crossings. The motor car and the pedestrian have always had an uneasy relationship.

20050429

Joe Kerr presents a series about Britain's traffic control devices. 5/5. The Road Hump: Love them or hate them, humps have a secret history. Joe's journey takes him from Oxford to Delft. Then News.