The construction blunder that blights many of my journeys – as well as those of most of the South-east's travelling public – is the M25. What was clearly a wonderful idea has failed because of our typical British reserve and our planners' inability to come up with a structure able to satisfy demand into the 21st century. Instead, by taking the cautious approach, we are left with a road that undergoes constant "improvements", resulting in even greater congestion. It completely fails to deliver its remit of transporting people to where they need to go in a reasonable manner and within a reasonable time.
Vision of future
Insurance company Swiss Re's tower in the City of London was designed by Foster and Partners. The shape of the 40-storey building, which swells out at the 26th floor before tapering in again to a domed pinnacle, was made possible by the design of its steel exoskeleton.
Lack of foresight
Since its completion in 1986, the M25 London Orbital Motorway has become one of the busiest roads in Europe. In 2001, infrastructure consultant Mouchel won a £50m contract from the Highways Agency to manage the M25 and sections of the intersecting motorways and trunk roads. Last November, it launched a website enabling drivers to log on for real-time traffic information on the M25.
David Hardy is general manager of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.