Failed Infrastructure Makes For Great Television

Fans of BBC television may have noticed that certain high-budget episodes of their favorite series feature huge car crashes and realistic motorway scenes. Those great episodes of television were brought to you by a failed state infrastructure project in a small town in England.


The BBC’s epic motorway filmmaking in shows like Broadchurch or Casualty is regularly made possible by one failed project in particular: an abandoned connector road in the town of Yate in Southern England. YouTuber Tom Scott tells the story of the road and its starring roles in his latest “Amazing Places” video on his YouTube channel:

Construction began on this road in 1974 as an infrastructure project meant to ease traffic by connecting local roads with a large commuter road nearby. As Scott mentions in the video, the local council stopped construction on the road after a spike in the cost of steel that was needed for a planned railway bridge.


Despite reports that citizens still complain about traffic in the parish to this day, the roadway project was never re-started. What remains of the failed infrastructure project is one mostly complete stretch of pavement that connects to nothing. Eventually, it came to be known as the Road to Nowhere.

It’s open to the public, though closed to cars. The stretch of empty UK motorway is available for film or television shoots, however, and has been the location for some of the most expensive scenes in the BBC show Casualty, one of the longest-running medical drama shows in the world. Production crews actually built an overpass spanning the Road to Nowhere for this explosive scene:

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