I’ve always been fascinated by road building. That might be because of my name (the sunken-lane ‘Holloways’ were the pre-Roman ‘motorways’ in southern England) or because my father worked on putting the M6 across Shap summit or even because I grew up a couple of miles from Britain’s first section of motorway, the Preston Bypass.

Long-distance roads are key to civilization. But this country – or at least the people who have run it – has long been in two minds about the personal freedom and massive economic benefits they can bring.

Before WW2, Germany and Italy were building motorways, and rest of war-ravaged Europe followed during post-war reconstruction. In Britain, as I’m endlessly pointing out, even by 1959 Britain had no motorways at all and was still using steam trains.