A set of traffic lights near Leeds Bus Station breaks down with alarming regularity. It is a busy crossroads, with hundreds of cars passing every hour. Nevertheless, as a driver, it seems to me that the passage of traffic, if anything, speeds up when the lights are out. Drivers, who would normally robotically plough through green and slam the brakes on at red, suddenly wake up. They slow down, look around and even allow pedestrians to cross before traversing the junction themselves. Other vehicles flash their lights, cede passage and behave as if road rage was a thing of the past. Despite hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of spending, the traffic flows just as well with no intervention. It is necessary to be able to cope with this kind of counterintuitive realisation before reading Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First Century-City by Anna Minton, because much of what she says goes against accepted theory.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'Time after time ... @KeithLoweAuthor’s commentaries are more articulate and supple than the monuments they describe, interpret and criticise.'
What can monuments to the Second World War do for us today, asks Jonathan Meades?
Part two of our summer crime roundup: @NJCooper_crime on new releases by @Marc_Elsberg, @SJ_Watson, @VictoriaReaderB, @jessbarryauthor, @pavesi_alex, @AlineTempleton and Lottie Moggach.
'This is a disturbing tale of cruelty and deception.'
In the first part of our July/August crime round-up, @NJCooper_crime reviews thrillers by @ClaireAllan, @MarkBillingham, @IsabelleGrey, @SabineDurrant, @davidgilmanuk, , @evecsmith & @OneNightStanzas.