Canals and rivers
In the past the building of canals, like other transport infrastructure projects, was considered in, or initiated by, Parliament.
In the years before goods like coal could be transported by road or rail, the waterways were an essential part of the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. The construction of canals enabled inland coalfields and heavy industries like pottery and metalworking to expand.
Parliament also considered legislation for the maintenance of rivers, and the creation of important docks, ports and harbours.
Explore the Parliamentary collections for original documents concerning canals and rivers
From canal Acts to River Basin Management Plans Parliament and transport in a modern context