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heath. Flat stones, if they can be had, should then be laid over the faggots, and upon them stones of six or seven pounds weight, and lastly, a coat of eight or ten inches of pounded stone.' Mr. Paterson says,
• if the bottom be soft and wet, the bottom metals should be much larger than the top;' though he mentions cases in which the large stones will work their way to the surface. Several of the intelligent surveyors examined by the Committee agree in these opinions, and Mr. Telford recommends covering a foundation of clay with vegetable soil. Mr. M‘Adam however appears to set this question at rest. In answer to the questions,
What depth of solid materials would you think it right to put upon a road in order to repair it properly?'--He replies, * I should think that ten inches of well consolidated materials is equal to carry any thing.'
“That is, provided the substratum is sound?—No ;-) should not care whether the substratum was soft or hard; I should rather prefer a soft one to a hard one.'
“You don't mean you would prefer a bog?- If it was not such a bog as would not allow a man to walk over it, I should prefer it.'
• What advantage is derived from the substrata not being perfectly solid ?-I think when a road is placed upon a hard substance, such as a rock, the road wears much sooner than when placed on a soft substance.—The road in Somersetshire between Bridgewater and Cross is mostly over a morass, which is so extremely soft that, when you ride in a carriage along the road, you see the water tremble in the ditches on each side ; and after there has been a slight frost, the vibration of the water from the carriage on the road will be so great as to break the
young ice. That road is partly in the Bristol district. I think there is about seven miles of it, and at the end of those seven miles, we come directly to the limestone rock. I think we have about five or six miles of this rocky road immediately succeeding the morass; and being curious to know what the wear was, I had a very exact account kept, not very lately, but I think the difference is as five to seven in the expenditure of the materials on the soft and bard;'-though the hard road lies higher.
• But in forming a road over a morass, would you bottom the road with small or large stones ? - I never use large stones on the bottom of a road; I would not put a large stone in any part of it.
• In forming a road across a morass, would you not put some sort of intermediate inaterial between the bog and the stone ? -No, never.'
• Would you not put faggots ?-No, nu faggots.'
• How small would you have the stones:- Not to exceed six ounces in weight.
• Have you not found, that a foundation of bog sinks ?- No, not a bit of the road sinks: and we have the same thickness of materials on the one as on the other.'
• If a road be made smooth and solid, it will be one mass, and the effect of the substrata, whether clay or sand, can never be felt in effect
by by carriages going over the road; because a road well made unites itself into a body like a piece of timber or a board.'— Report, p. 23.
Having observed symptoms of incredulity in some members of the Committee, Mr. M‘Adam, on a subsequent examination, corroborated the above statement by the testimonies of Edward Whitting, surveyor of the road alluded to, and by that of R. Phippen, Esq., the treasurer; the former of whom asserts that the general strength of the road is from seven inches to nine, and that he has always considered five tons of stones on the morass, equal to seven over the hills.
Where the road is carried through a wet or springy soil, Mr. Paterson's method of draining is simple, and not very expensive. * Run,' says he, (page 24.) “a drain along the middle of the road all the way, from two to three feet deep, as narrow as it can possibly be dug, filling it with stones up to the surface of the road, making those at the bottom of a pretty good size, probably from six to eight inches in diameter. From this leading drain make a branch here and there, to carry off the water to the canals on the sides of the road.
Attention to these canals or ditches is obviously of considerable importance. In order to obviate the danger occasioned by them Mr. Walker recommends their being formed on the field side of the hedge. In a length of road over a marsh where the ditches were obliged to be wide and deep, I ordered,' says he, “some cuttings of willow to be stuck into the road side of the ditch, which are now 80 thick and strong, as to be a complete security from all danger.'—We are acquainted with many formidable causeways, where we should rejoice to see this practice adopted.
When a road is well formed, and covered to the depth of eight or ten inches with well-broken materials, the next object is to maintain it in good repair. And here the whole art and mystery consists in constant scraping when the weather is wet and dirty; in continually filling the ruts, (that all the metals, as Mr. Paterson expresses it, may be subjected to equal fatigue,) and in giving free access to sun and air, by cutting the hedges and stripping the trees by the road side to a certain height; though not to such a degree as is too often practised to the destruction of the timber, and the utter annihilation of all picturesque beauty. When fresh materials are necessary, they should be laid on while the road is in a moist state, and immediately after it has been scraped.
After travelling in a sultry day through clouds of dust, we have often congratulated ourselves upon entering the region of watered roads. This, however, Mr. B. Farey, surveyor of Whitechapel Road, tells us is very injurious, if practised before May and after August, as the water separates the stones and makes the road
spongy spongy and loose. Winter-watering, in heavy foggy weather, and after a frost, he recommends to prevent clogging. The traffic in twenty-four hours after watering forms such a sludge as can be easily raked off by wooden scrapers, which is performed as quickly as possible.'— The advantages of this occasional Winter-watering have been very great. (Evidence, p. 40.)
In the immediate neighbourhood of London, where the traffic of all descriptions is so considerable, the materials most easily procured, consisting of a clayey gravel, are particularly bad. For these roads, Mr.M'Adam recommends that facilities should be given to the importation of granite chippings from Cornwall, Guernsey and Scotland; and of beach pebbles from the coasts of Essex, Kent, and Sussex. After all, we are disposed to agree with Mr. Edgeworth, that for roads near the capital or great manufacturing towns, 'paving is the only certain method yet known that gives sufficient hardness, smoothness, and permanency.' A partial paving, of eleven or twelve feet wide from the foot path, is strongly recommended by all the surveyors examined by the Committee. Mr. Walker (surveyor of Commercial Road, &c.) says, (p. 46.)It is not, I am sure, over, stating the advantage of the paving, but rather otherwise, to say that, taking the year through, two horses will do more work, with the same labour to themselves, upon a paved road, than three upon a good gravelled road, if the traffic upon the gravelled road is at all considerable. This statement is abundantly confirmed by the accurate experiments of Mr. Edgeworth. In the Commercial Road the centre is paved and the sides gravelled. Mr. Walker, however, says, " that considerable improvement would be found from paving the sides of a road, to the width of 11 or 12 feet, upon which the heavy traffic is great, in both directions, and leaving the middle for light carriages : the carmen, walking upon the footpaths or sides of the road, would then be close to their horses, without interrupting, or being in danger from light carriages, which is the case when they are driven upon the middle of the road; and the improved part being in the middle or higher part of the road, would be more easily kept in good repair.'
* The requisites for forming a good paving are, to have the stones properly squared and shaped, not as wedges, but nearly as octangular prisms; to sort them into classes according to their sizes, so as to prevent unequal sinking, which is always the effect of stones or rows of stones of unequal sizes being mixed together; to have a foundation properly consolidated before the road is begun to be paved; and to have the stones laid with a close joint, the courses being kept at right angles from the direction of the sides and in perfectly straight lines, the joints carefully broken, that is, so that the joint between two stones in any one course shall not be in a line with, or opposite to a joint in any of the two courses adjoining. After the stones are laid, they are to be well
rammed, and such of the stones as appear to ram loose, should be taken out and replaced by others; after this the joints are to be filled up with fine gravel, and if it can be done conveniently, the stability of the work will be increased by well watering at night the part that has been done during the day, and ramming it over again next morning. The surface of the pavement is then to be covered with an inch or so of fine gravel, that the joints may be always kept full, and that the wheels may not come in contact with the stones while they are at all loose in their places. I have found great advantage from filling up the joints with lime-water, or from mixing a little of the parings or chippings of iron, or small scraps of iron hoop, with the gravel used in filling up the joints of the paving. The water would very soon create an oxide of iron, and form the gravel into a species of rock.'—Evidence, p. 46. : To those who are frightened at the expense of paving, we would recommend the following passage.
If the traffic upon the gravelled road (continues Mr. Walker) is at all considerable, the saving of the expense of carriage will be found to be very great, when compared with the cost of paving. If the annual tonnage upon the Commercial Road is taken at 250,000 tons, and at the rate of only 3s. per ton from the Docks, it could not be done under 4s. 6d. ; say, however, 45., or 1s. per ton difference, making a saving of £12,500, or nearly the whole expense of the paving in one year. I think I am under the mark in all ihese figures.'
We have insensibly allowed the operative part of our subject to occupy so many of our pages, that we have left but little space for the legislative enactments which may be deemed expedient. The Committee professes to have contined its attention to turnpike roads. Its principal suggestions are
Ist. The appointment of county or district surveyors.
3d. The combining into one general code or digest all the enactments relating to highways.
With respect to the first of these, the Committee recommends empowering the magistrates of every county, assembled at quarter-sessions, to appoint one or more surveyors-general, who shall have the superiutendence and management of the turnpike roads within the county, under the authority and direction of the conmissioners of the different trusts, to be paid by an uniform rate per mile upon all the roads within the county ; to be fixed by the magistrates at quarter-sessions, and paid from the funds of their respective trusts.
In the next place, the Committee • Express to the house their strong recommendation, that a special act of parliament be passed for uniting all the trusts within a distance of about ten miles round London under one set of commissioners. It is to these roads that the heaviest complaints made by the coach
masters and the surveyor of mail-coaches principally apply; and whether an improvement is to be effected by the importation of fint, and other common materials, or by laying granite pavement in the centre or sides of the roads, it is evident that the measure, to be performed in an economical and efficient manner, must be done upon an extended scale; it must become one interest, directed by one select body of men, of weight, ability, and character.'- Report, p. 9.
Upon the plan of endeavouring to embody in one act of parliament all that is valuable in the old laws with the addition of such new regulations as are acknowledged to be desirable, (as suggested by the Committee of 1811,) the Committee do not hesitate to avow their opinion,' that, unless this task, however arduous, be accomplished, the law relating to roads must remain in an incomplete, uncertain, and inconvenient state; they cannot doubt (they say) that the House will agree with them that the promotion of such a measure is deserving of legal assistance on the part of his Majesty's government, to those who are desirous to apply their time and attention to the undertaking.' These suggestions have our unqualified approbation; and we shall rejoice to see them carried into effect.
• A general commutation for statute labour,' recommended by the Committee as well as by Messrs. M'Adam, Edgeworth, and Walker would, we think, be a desirable measure in itself. Mr. M‘Adam
says that if it were commuted for even half the real value, it would still be a great advantage to the public. We doubt, however, whether it would not be regarded by the majority of the fariners, who have so many claims upon their purses already, in the light of a new tax.
The Committee, as we have seen, have hitherto confined their attention to turnpike roads; we sincerely hope that they will extend it to public highways of every description. We have, it is true, often cause to complain of the unskilfulness and negligence of surveyors on turnpike roads, but it is in the nature of things that these faults should be found in a still greater degree in the surveyors of parishes. Indeed we have little hesitation in affirming that it is to such neglect that one-third at least of the turnpike acts owe their existence. Mr. Walker, whose evidence throughout evinces a perfect knowledge of every thing connected with his profession, observes very properly,
“The case of parish roads is still worse, where the inhabitants are, without much regard to their habits of life, obliged in their turns to serve the annual office of surveyor of the highways. If such persons mean to signalize themselves during their being in office, the first step is often to undo what their predecessor has done, or has not perfected; and the love of self and of friends determines them to make sure while they have it in their power, that some favoured roads or lanes are put.