It will be recalled from Chapter 1 that Manchester was selected as a case study as it can be seen as a model conurbation to demonstrate how the complex interplay of institutional structures and policy played out within a single city region. This is because it developed a complex railway network and the city radiated out along it in all directions on the level plain of the Manchester Embayment. It will be shown that the network exhibited prototypical strengths and weaknesses and played a significant role in urban decentralisation. In the 1948-94 period there was a great deal of change to this network, of both a positive and negative kind; this took place in the context of extensive land-use planning activity which had identifiable impacts upon patterns of urban development.