John Wylde Msc FCILT

A view of inland transport development in Great Britain during the 20th century.


John Wylde Msc FCILT

A view of inland transport development in Great Britain during the 20th century.

About me

Following a post-retirement degree course in 2000-2001 the author was conscious that young people coming into the transport industry in the 21st century would not be familiar with the way transport had developed into its present form, but to track it all the way from the 17th century would probably yield little that was not already recorded in forms that the really keen student could readily access.

The 20th century was a different matter, because it included the origins and development of motorised road transport and aviation. The book is confined to inland transport development, however, so while the beginnings of internal aviation services are relevant, the situation after the Second World War was different, when aviation in this country was concentrated into British European Airways and British Overseas Airways, both of which were international. Such internal services as existed were effectively feeders to the international providers. They do not therefore come within the remit of this book.

The book describes trends and major incidents in transport development during the 20th century within a chronological framework, the decades forming the chapters. Within each chapter there are sections on Legislation, Roads, Waterways, Freight, Railways, Trams and Trolleybuses, London Transport, and Passenger Road Transport outside London, as far as possible in that order for the sake of consistency. Ferries, Shipping and Internal Air Services tend to defy logic and may appear near the beginning or right at the end of the decade chapters.

While the bulk of the book is historical, there is one final chapter which takes a look forward into the new century.
In some respects the author wishes he had not added that chapter, because he believes that many readers start with it, find it deviating from what has actually happened, and do not read the definitive material in the decade chapters.

A frequent criticism has been the lack of illustrations. There is a tight cartel of publishers who control most of the historical material which could be used as illustrations, and none of them was interested in publishing this book. This is no bad thing as it happens, because again the author’s belief is that people open a book, look at the pictures, perhaps read the captions, but do not advance to the text.

The form of the book has developed from the original A4 spiral-bound copies, which looked rather like a local government report, to a second edition, which was better but not best, and finally to a third edition which is much easier to read, and looks like a proper book.

An encouraging number of favourable reviews has been received from people who have actually read it, however, The late Professor John Hibbs said “This is.. an important book for anyone concerned with transport. It is a very useful book. .. what do we mean by those tricky words ‘integration’ and co-ordination’? .. The author goes to the heart of the matter. He finds three definitions of integrated transport. …. The author is unafraid to tackle controversy, which is in itself one reason why .. the book makes such good reading.”

Alex Nelson, FCILT, said “This book unpacks the development of integrated transport, from measures to co-ordinate transport in London as early as 1905, to the development of municipal tram and trolleybus networks, through to the work of Journey Solutions in the current decade… Unusually for such a book I did not find a single typographical error in the entire work”.

James Freeman, FCILT, formerly Chief Executive Officer of Reading Transport, and currently Managing Director of First West of England at Bristol, said “Despite the rise of private motoring since the Second World War, public transport continues to play a vital part in our lives. There are many published histories of the way that buses, trains, planes and other modes have contributed to our well-being as a people. These can be found on the bookshelves of good bookshops up and down the land. One of these is a lot less well-known than it ought to be but should be read by anybody with a serious interest in the subject. Entitled Integrated Transport – a Will-o’- the wisp? it was written by John Wylde …in 2007. It is a comprehensive summary of public transport developments through the last century, compressed into a succinct and highly-readable format. I found that I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it!”

Ian Clarke said “Anyone interested in knowing how the transport network came to be where it is today should read this work”.

Each book is signed by the author.

A personal note: The original content of the website was becoming outdated, so I have revised it into a much more compact form.

The book was written when I was resident in Tweedmouth. I have since migrated 25 miles closer to the source of the Tweed, so please don’t send your cheques to the Tweedmouth address. I am hoping to find out how to use PayPal again, or Grieves on the corner of Church Street in Berwick will help you if you are local.

Kelso January 2019

My latest books

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Experiments in Public Transport
The Spice of Life

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