The Hook Road was a planned motorway connecting Cardiff city centre to the northern suburbs at the missing M4 Junction 31.
Buchanan's plans for Cardiff from his 1966 report
Southern part of the Hook Road as initially planned in Buchanan's Probe Study
Final plan for the road before the project was scrapped
The origins of the road date back to the mid-1960s when the City of Cardiff commissioned Professor Buchanan to look into ways of solving the city's traffic problems. Buchanan produced a transportation study report in 1966 called the "Probe Study
" in which he recommends major redevelopment of the city centre along with an urban motorway network around the central area. He produced a follow up report in 1968 called the "Main Study Report
" which features some modifications to the 1966 plans. Shortly after releasing his second report the city adopted Buchanan's plans as policy and work quickly commenced on drawing up plans for the future road network. It was realised that such a dense network of high quality roads would take several decades to complete and the first plans of 1968 suggested a date of 2001 when the network would be open in its entirety. Building it in stages would be the most practical solution. The first stage would be to connect the city centre to the north and this became known as the "Short Term Primary Highway Programme
" and this consisted of the Caerphilly Radial, Central Primary and part of the Southern Primary. From the outset it became known as the Hook Road due to its shape.
As originally shown in Buchanan's report the section of the network that became known as the Hook Road contained many closely spaced junctions which required C/D lanes to avoid any weaving. In particular there were three junctions planned immediately to the west of Splott Interchange. Buchanan's early designs for the junctions were refined over the following few years until the final layouts were settled on in 1971 by which time most of the junctions were unrecognisable from the initial plans five years earlier.
As soon as plans for the road were made public there was immense local opposition due to the large amounts of property required and the desecration of graves at Cathays Cemetery. Alternative routes and junction layouts were put forward for Fairoak Interchange where the cemetery is located but each resulted in the loss of property in one way or another. Other parts of the route didn't escape local anger either with 1500 houses being required in total. With such a large amount of properties facing demolition and a vast number of residents needing re-homing it came as little surprise when the decision was made to scrap the road in late 1972. It is also believed the rest of the planned road network was scrapped at or around the same time. Plans to build the nearby Llantrisant Radial which was another component of Cardiff's road network had already been withdrawn a year earlier.