Ringing the Changes to City's Roads; HISTORY OF COVENTRY'S FAMOUS CIRCULAR TO BE CAPTURED ON FILM

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN HARRIS

A COVENTRY lecturer is making a novel documentary about the city's ring road.

Steve Dawkins is seeking people's stories and views on the circular route for a research project.

The 15-minute documentary will be premiered at Warwick University as part of a film festival later this year.

Mr Dawkins, senior lecturer in communication, culture and media at Coventry University, hopes people's feelings on the ring road will give the project a wider appeal.

He said: "I want stories people have about the building of the ring road and how it actually affects them.

"From my research very few people see it as being important even though it's quite big, physically and symbolically.

"I'm really looking for video and film footage of it being built because that's been difficult to track down."

The project aims to show how the ring road affected the city's identity in the post-war period and how successful it was in ridding the city centre of cars.

Mr Dawkins, aged 39, from Nuneaton, has childhood memories of the complex concrete and asphalt structure being built.

He said: "What struck me most was the length of time it took to build.

"I thought it would have taken about four years but it actually took about 13 years."

"I think it was a brave move. In retrospect it is very easy to be critical and say it's terrible, like a lot of people do.

"It's a difficult road to drive around but it's quite a feat of engineering."

The documentary will be screened at Warwick University on June 1 during the Blink Film Festival. Anyone wishing to contribute to the project can phone Mr Dawkins on 024 7688 7479. …