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A study of road transport development during the Industrial Revolution : Southern Hampshire, 1750-1850

A study of road transport development during the Industrial Revolution : Southern Hampshire, 1750-1850
A study of road transport development during the Industrial Revolution : Southern Hampshire, 1750-1850

The road transport developments in Britain during the period 1750-1850 have long been recognised as a vital element in the Industrial Revolution, yet, paradoxically, there have been few scholarly and detailed examinations of the nature and significance of these developments. A wide variety of sources is drawn upon - Parliamentary records, turnpike trust documentation, newspapers and directories, principal among them, while considerable use is made of graph theory as an aid to describing and analysing the region's developing transport system. Road transport in Southern Hampshire during the earlier eighteenth century was at a point of crisis: roads were in a poor condition, the mechanisms for maintaining them were ineffective and inadequate, and as a result, traffic expansion was much impeded. The solu- tion came with the widespread adoption of the turnpike concept from 1750. By the 1770s, a comprehensive and well-integrated system of turnpike roads was in existence and development continued up to 1841. Under the auspices of the region's turnpike trusts, far greater funds were devoted to road maintenance than ever before, and concerted efforts were made to stream- line the road system through widening, construction of 'cut-offs' and lowering of hills. The significance of these various changes is clearly reflected in the remarkable growth of traffic during the period, especially in the public transport sector. The traffic expansion was accompanied by a considerable improvement in rates of travel, often at no great advance in costs in relative terms. Viewed as a whole, such transport developments formed a highly important permissive, and at times positive, force in the movement towards greater regional urbanisation, in regional agricultural expansion and improvement, and in the decline of traditional industries and crafts. Preliminary comparison with the Yorkshire West Riding suggests that the experience of Southern Hampshire was more than repeated in the developing industrial regions.

University of Southampton
Freeman, Michael John
Freeman, Michael John

Freeman, Michael John (1977) A study of road transport development during the Industrial Revolution : Southern Hampshire, 1750-1850. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The road transport developments in Britain during the period 1750-1850 have long been recognised as a vital element in the Industrial Revolution, yet, paradoxically, there have been few scholarly and detailed examinations of the nature and significance of these developments. A wide variety of sources is drawn upon - Parliamentary records, turnpike trust documentation, newspapers and directories, principal among them, while considerable use is made of graph theory as an aid to describing and analysing the region's developing transport system. Road transport in Southern Hampshire during the earlier eighteenth century was at a point of crisis: roads were in a poor condition, the mechanisms for maintaining them were ineffective and inadequate, and as a result, traffic expansion was much impeded. The solu- tion came with the widespread adoption of the turnpike concept from 1750. By the 1770s, a comprehensive and well-integrated system of turnpike roads was in existence and development continued up to 1841. Under the auspices of the region's turnpike trusts, far greater funds were devoted to road maintenance than ever before, and concerted efforts were made to stream- line the road system through widening, construction of 'cut-offs' and lowering of hills. The significance of these various changes is clearly reflected in the remarkable growth of traffic during the period, especially in the public transport sector. The traffic expansion was accompanied by a considerable improvement in rates of travel, often at no great advance in costs in relative terms. Viewed as a whole, such transport developments formed a highly important permissive, and at times positive, force in the movement towards greater regional urbanisation, in regional agricultural expansion and improvement, and in the decline of traditional industries and crafts. Preliminary comparison with the Yorkshire West Riding suggests that the experience of Southern Hampshire was more than repeated in the developing industrial regions.

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Published date: 1977

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Local EPrints ID: 462828
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/462828
PURE UUID: 71dc8682-6f04-4947-a2dd-70bf8f0397a8

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 20:12
Last modified: 04 Jul 2022 21:32

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Author: Michael John Freeman

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