Scammonden: Landscape Co-production in the Motorway Age
The rapid expansion of post-war infrastructure in Britain brought new emphasis to the landscape architectural profession, no more so than in the development of its motorways. In this paper I will examine one short section of the Lancashire-Yorkshire (M62) Motorway at Scammonden near Huddersfield. Scammonden was the world’s first dam-motorway hybrid and the six-lane carriageway travels across the top of a reservoir dam. The adjacent Scammonden Bridge was the longest single-span non-suspension bridge in the world when it was built. The site was complex in its topography and environment during the construction phase, but was no less politically complex in its approvals, covenants and multi-agency production. Using archival sources I will show how the entire landscape composition was bound in legislation and co-produced by designers, engineers, civil servants, politicians and contractors. Using Zeller’s (2010) conception of the ‘dual – physical and discursive – construction of landscape’, the net result, 40 years later, will be considered in terms of its consumption – technologically constructed and invisible or culturally designed and objectified. I will explore the idea of infrastructural landscapes as co-produced objects realised through such means as design-engineering-construction and policy-legislation-statute.