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Cross River Traffic

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Cross River Traffic started life as a photographic project that set out to make people look at London's Bridges in a different way. Tied in with this was the notion of the death of the traditional commuter with broadsheet, brolly and bowler.The book forces the reader to view the outwardly familiar in an amusing and entertainingly different light. 

When the Romans founded Londinium, the only way to pass between the banks of the Thames involved a boat or getting wet. Later they built a crossing near a spot that for 1,700 years was the site of the only London bridge. Now central London has seventeen points at which pedestrians can traverse the Thames, ranging from the fantastically fruity Tower Bridge to the grimly functional Wandsworth.

 CROSS RIVER TRAFFIC tells the history of London's current road and pedestrian bridges and their predecessors ? why and how they were built as well as incidents that have occurred on them, from ghost stories to terrorist plots, sexual antics to suicides. The book explores the reasons why the crossings are situated where they are and the effect on the communities they link as well as on London as a whole. The bridges stitch the north and south of the river together, and were instrumental in unifying the metropolis in the Victorian era. Now they are helping to refashion London's waterfront for the 21st century.

Within the history of London Bridges are woven more general discussions on commuting, pollution, wildlife, flooding, politics, transport and gentrification. Illustrated with stunning photographs of each bridge by a selection of London-based photographers, CROSS RIVER TRAFFIC is a delightfully digressive and informative history of the architectural backbone of the world's first metropolis. It also answers crucial questions such as why do London's bikers meet on Chelsea Bridge, who was assassinated on Waterloo, how did a hairdresser save Hammersmith and a poet the Albert Bridge. Along side the tales of the bridges are woven more general discursions on commuting, pollution, wildlife, flooding, politics, transport and gentrification. 

Reviews of Cross River Traffic here