Before the Railways

Before railways transport in GB depended on canals, rivers or on land pack horses and inferior roads. Roads proceeded canals.During 16th century there was peace and the country prospered. Road transport increased and goods were transported by pack horse or slow moving carrier wagon drawn by several horses.

Marston, Ampthill and Lidlington had carriers. William Carfie of Lidlington became a wealthy carrier as he was able to mortgage and buy several acres of land between
1663 - 1676.

Early 19th century there were 3,300 stage coaches. 30,000 Drivers guards ostlers and horse keepers were employed. It took 9 days to go from Edinburgh to London.
Narrow boats and stage coaches complimented each other rather than competed.
Coaches tended to carry passengers and parcels. Barges - manufactured goods to ports then carried agricultural produce. .

Bedford townsmen had to make their own way to Bletchley and Fenny Stratford.
Local tradesmen wanted branchline near to main line.
12/5/1844 Planned a branch from Bletchley near Fenny Stratford to Bedford through Kempston, Wooton, Marston, Lidlington and a tunnel thrashed through Brogborough Hill then to Holcott, Wavendon, Simpson and Bletchley. Continue to Railways..