Livingston (Scotland)

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Livingston is a large town in West Lothian in the central belt of Scotland, built as a "New Town" from 1963.
In the 12th century a Flemish man, De Leving, built a fortified tower (long gone) and the settlement of Levingstoun or Livingston grew up around it. In the 19th C West Lothian became urbanised when the shale oil industry developed, but the Livingston area remained farmland until the 1960s. Then five "new towns" were built rapidly to relieve congestion in Glasgow, four of them on greenfield sites (East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Cumbernauld and Livingston) while the fifth was built onto the existing town of Irvine. Livingston was laid out on a grid, with A899 running north-south and A705 running east-west, and a chequerboard of residential estates. These include Livingston Village, Bellsquarry, Craigshill, Howden, Dedridge, Ladywell, Knightsridge, Murieston, Adambrae, Deans and Eliburn. The town has expanded to engulf Polbeth, West Calder, East Calder, Mid Calder, Uphall and Pumpherston, and the population is some 56,000. It was run by a development corporation (a "quango") until 1997 then local government transferred to West Lothian; Robin Cook was its MP from 1983 until his death in 2005.

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