The rapid growth of road transport since the war has had severe reactions on the prosperity of the railways, and this has been the more serious as it has coincided with a period of trade depression. Road competition has been keenest in connexion with short distance traffic and the carriage of commodities in the higher grades of the railway classification, though it has by no means been confined to short journeys and valuable articles. The railway companies have complained that they are not allowed to compete with their rivals on an equal footing in as much as they are restricted by numerous Government regulations and legal disabilities, including the law of undue preference. They are also responsible for the entire capital cost and upkeep of their permanent way, stations, and signalling, whereas they argue that road transport is provided with part of the equivalent equipment at the expense of the community. The total all-in cost of roads and bridges per annum, including police duties, has been estimated at £61,000,000, and the total revenue raised from motor vehicle duties and the petrol tax of 8d. per gallon amount (1932) to about £50,000,000, leaving a balance of about £11,000,000 to be found from other sources. 1