WHAT used to be the Transport Research Laboratory in Crowthorne has now been transformed into new housing.

Housebuilders Legal and General Homes has trawled through the archives of Buckler's Park to show how the former site used to improve roads and transports in Britain in 1960s.

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The land was used for vehicle testing, research and innovative developments, such as the mini-roundabout, the zebra crossing and the Green Cross Code.

Following the switch from horse-drawn to motor buses in London in 1911, the Ministry of Transport was formed in 1919. This established the Road Research Laboratory (RRL) in 1925, the first iteration of what was to become the Transport Research Laboratory.

During WWII, the RRL was involved in developing rapid methods of laying airfields for fighter jets and invented a method for camouflaging concrete runways during the day and night.

From 1946, the RRL set its sights on improving road safety following the rising number of pedestrian deaths on the roads during the wartime black-outs.

The zebra crossing was introduced during Pedestrian Cross Week in 1949, after the RRL concluded they were way more effective way to make pedestrian crossings more conspicuous.

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After the completion of the Crowthorne Track, in the 102-hectare Forestry Commission site that is now open as Buckler's Forest, the RRL moved to Crowthorne in 1966 and became the Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL) in 1972.

As part of the new housing development, the routes of some of the old testing tracks have been integrated as pedestrian links within Buckler's Forest.

Residents may also remember a public house called the Highwayman, which was open Friday lunchtimes and for social evening and a pint would cost you 10p.

Work continued on a broad range of topics, including mini roundabouts, speed humps and road safety initiatives, and the laboratory also developed an electric control system for disabled drivers.

The TRL was established in 1992, and moved to its current location in Wokingham in 2004.