Turnpike roads

From the minutes of the Brandbridges Turnpike Trust, Kent History and Library Centre, T8/A1

Turnpike roads survived the coming of the railway.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, many roads were maintained by turnpike trusts. These were individual bodies established by acts of Parliament which had powers to exact tolls to pay for the upkeep of the roads.

Although turnpike roads must have felt the impact of the railways, at a local level travel would not have been greatly affected.  As a result turnpike trusts continued in existence until the development of Local Authorities in the late nineteenth century.

One turnpike trust near Marden that was greatly affected by the railway was the Brandbridges Road Turnpike Trust.  Their road was crossed by the railway just down the line from Marden.  The Trust had already been advised that the level of the road would have to be sunk to between 10 and 14 feet lower than its existing level.  As this would leave the road much more liable to flooding, and make draining any floodwater away much more difficult, the Trust decided to dissent to the Railway.

Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Brandbridges Road Turnpike Trust, 29th February 1836.

Despite the difficulties the Railway caused, the Trust remained in existence until 1884 and was one of the last remaining Trusts in the area.

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