10 JANUARY 1914, Page 26


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Bibliography of Road-Making and Roads in the United Eingdons. By Dorothy Ballen. (P. S. King and Son. 15s. net.)—The road problem has been with us for several cen- turies, though the development of the motor-car in recent years has endowed it with a vocal organ so clamorous as to seem new. Ever since the first Highway Act was passed, in 1555, synchronizing with the earliest use of wheeled vehicles in modern England, the appearance on the road of each new user heralded an outburst of literary and legislative activity. Sir• George Gibb, who, as Chairman of the Road Board, con- tributes an appreciative preface to this book, reminds us that " the literature of the past, like that of to-day, embodies a pre- vailing tone of discontent. Its classification would be amongst the lamentations. The road user has always been an impatient and intolerant person in speech, though pathetically tolerant and long.saffering in conduct." Yet we have in England, be adds, " a most admirable, highly practical and singularly complete system of roads." This system was produced in the days before railroads, then lay dormant for many years, and is now again playing a large part in the facilities of modern life. Miss Ballen, who has worked under the auspices of the London School of Economics and the inspiration of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Webb, has executed her very laborious task with a great measure of success, and her bibliography will be of immense use to future students of the road problem.