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Transport, urbanization and economic development in England and Wales c.1670-1911

Transport, urbanization and economic development in England and Wales c.1670-1911

Turnpike road network in England and Wales 1695-1896

The turnpike roads were the primary roads of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Through acts of parliament, bodies of local trustees were given powers to levy tolls on the users of a specified stretch of road, generally around 20 miles in length. In most cases the turnpike trusts took over long established highways and improved the administration and maintenance of these truck routes.

The turnpike data includes a digitisation of the turnpike roads and trusts linked to a database which contains for each section of road the trust to which it belonged, the date it was turnpike or created, the date it was lapsed and variety of other data. Max Satchell undertook an initial digitization from John Cary's New map of England of Wales and a part of Scotland (revised 1832). Due to the planimetric deficiencies of the Cary maps each turnpike had to be digitised using the OS 1st edn 1:10560 mapping as a map base. The much larger task of assigning the trust data to some 20,000 miles of polylines was conceived and undertaken with great rigour by Alan Rosevear.

A map of the turnpike roads in England and Wales in 1830 is shown below. You can view a video of the expansion and diminution of the network 1663-1896.

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