This book tells the story of roads and their traffic in Gloucestershire during the 18th and early 19th centuries, basing the account on reports, advertisements, and public anuncements from the county's principal local newspaper, the Gloucester Journal. Scene-setting chapters describe the long and problematical process by which the turnpike trusts, the road authorities of the day, transformed a system of primitive packhorse routes into a viable network of coach roads. A rich cross-section of the life of the road at the period is then presented: the inns, on which the transport system depended, standing at isolated strategic road junctions, at ferry crossings on the river Severn, or in the county's main towns at the hub of their social and public functions; the expanding network of stagecoaches, mail-coaches, post-chaises, and carriers' wagons; the travellers for whom the road was a way of life, ranging from gypsies and cattle drovers to showmen and 'commercial gentlemen'; and the hazards, such as road accidents, highway robbery, and bad weather conditions, encountered by travellers. The picture that emerges is often a harsh one, a corrective to the romanticised, popular view. For those to whom it gave a living, travel and transport in the Georgian age could be a struggle for survival, with stagecoach operators attempting to drive each other off the road, innkeepers spreading false rumours, even altering signposts, to lure custom from rivals, towns mounting publicity campaigns to counter the threat of route diversions, and waggoners at odds with the turnpikes over restrictive regulations. Some, like highwaymen and confidence tricksters, travelled to prey on their fellow-men; others were on the roads to escape from authority in the form of parish officers, recruiting sergeants, or the county magistracy. For the ordinary traveller journeys might involve the mir irritations of rude or corrupt innkeepers and coachmen or more serious, and sometimes fatal, encounters with Severn floods or Cotswold swstorms. The extracts from the Journal, supported by the author's informative and detailed commentary, provide a fascinating contemporary insight into a subject that lay at the heart of the ecomic and social development of Georgian England.