Before the Roman came to Rye or out
to Severn strode, The rolling English drunkard made the
rolling English road.
With this couplet, G. K. Chesterton hymned the traditional British inability to get from place to place by a direct route. About the only straight roads on the island are those laid out atop old Roman roads like famed Watling Street, which makes a 160-mile run from London to Wales. In the days of gas rationing, austerity and fewer cars, it was possible for the lucky few to speed across country or through cities...