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Inner Ring Road

April 1971

The Birmingham Inner Ring Road was opened on 7th April 1971. It was the first scheme of its kind to be completed in Britain, it was later to become known as the concrete collar due to its stifling effect on development in the city centre. During the thirteen years it took to build many historic districts of the city centre were completely demolished and redeveloped including many Victorian pubs and bars frequented by gay men such as the on Easy Row, later to become part of Paradise Circus.

City Engineer Herbert John Manzoni was responsible for the project, which included a network of pedestrian subways, often containing public toilets that became notorious for . These included the infamous (now demolished) which was even listed in guides.

About half of the system has now been downgraded, meaning there is no inner ring road circuit around the city centre and many of the unpopular subways have been in filled and replaced by surface level crossings, all of Birmingham's public toilets have long been closed.

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