Britain's history has been and still is a history of its transport. The Industrial Revolution, which made Britain the Workshop of the World and underpinned its empire, was made possible by the improved roads and new canals of the eighteenth century, and by the railway network of the nineteenth. As cities grew, transport continued to be central to Britain's economy, yet its infrastructure became steadily inadequate. Faced by too many cars in too small an area, and by an urgent need to spend vast sums to modernise the public system, transport has now become one of the most pressing and controversial issues for our time. "Transport in Britain" is a complete history of a fascinating and highly important subject. It covers all the major forms of transport, from the horse to the aeroplane, setting them in their historical context. It highlights long term themes in Britain's transport history, looks at the dilemmas facing today's society and suggests possible solutions.
Philip Bagwell is Emeritus Professor of History, University of Westminster. Peter Lyth is Lecturer in History at the University of Tel Aviv.