Tuesday, 4 December 2012

How Milton Keynes Might Have Been: North Bucks New City, aka 'Pooleyville'

View from a monorail cab

Turns out that before the plans for Milton Keynes were drawn up, there was an ambitious scheme for a carless, monorail city on the same site.

From an article by Guy Ortolano, published in The Historical Journal in 2011:

"The city’s boldest innovation, however, was its system of
transport : a quiet, automated, high-speed monorail. The
monorail would be paid for out of local rates, and thus free
at the point of service, and no home would be more than
seven minutes from a station.  The system would employ
the latest surveillance technologies, enabling a single
command station to track its cars, monitor its stations,
and communicate with its staff. Clean, safe monorails would
thus whiz through the city – and even through its buildings –
on a track ‘slung way above the people’, atop a network of
mesh ready to catch any suicidal jumpers in ‘a resilient wire
hammock ’. When one admiring journalist called the plan a
‘city for the 70s ’, Pooley responded that he preferred to think
of it as a ‘city for the 90s in the 70s ’."

Full text of the article in this here PDF:

Planning the Urban Future in 1960s Britain


  1. Your blog is amazing! Thanks for all these fantastic posts!