Obituary: Lord Jay

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The Independent Online
A part of Douglas Jay's political life not mentioned in Tam Dalyell's obituary [6 March] deserves to be recorded, writes Stephen Plowden. Planning in London in the second half of the 1960s was dominated by the proposal to build a vast motorway network which, among much other serious damage, would have involved the demolition of 20,000 dwellings. Immediately on leaving the Cabinet in 1967, Douglas Jay threw himself into the fight against this plan, both through the London Motorway Action Group, which he chaired, and in alliance with the London Amenity and Transport Association, an association of local societies from all over London.

There were many dark and difficult moments before the fight was finally won, seven years later, when a new Labour administration at the GLC, convinced by LATA's and LMAG's arguments, repudi-ated the scheme which Labour had previously supported. Throughout this time, Douglas's tenacity and energies never faltered. Londoners have cause to be grateful for his steadfastness.