Топик Transport in the 20th Century.
Although the first cars appeared at the end of the 19th century after the First World War they became cheaper and more common. However in 1940 only about one in 10 families owned a car. They increased in number after World War II. By 1959 32% of households owned a car. Yet cars only became really common in the 1960s. By the 1970s the majority of families owned one.
In 1903 a speed limit of 20 MPH was introduced. It was abolished in 1930. However in 1934 a speed limit of 30 MPH in built-up areas was introduced. Meanwhile in 1926 the first traffic lights were installed in London. A driving test was introduced in 1934. Also in 1934 Percy Shaw invented the cat's eye.
The parking meter was invented by Carlton Magee. The first one was installed in the USA in 1935. In 1983 wearing a seat belt was made compulsory.
Meanwhile in 1936 Belisha Beacons were introduced to make road crossing safer. The first zebra crossing was introduced in 1951.
In 1931 an American called Rolla N. Harger invented the first breathalyser. It was first used in Indianapolis USA in 1939.
A Swede named Nils Bohlin developed the three-point seat belt in 1959.
Meanwhile in the late 19th century horse drawn trams ran in many towns. At the beginning of the 20th century they were electrified. However in most towns trams were phased out in the 1930s. They gave way to buses, either motorbuses or trolley buses, which ran on overhead wires. The trolleybuses, in turn were phased out in the 1950s. Ironically at the end of the 20th century some cities re-introduced light railways.
In the mid-20th century there was a large network of branch railways. However in 1963 a minister called Dr. Beeching closed many of them.
The first hovercraft was launched in 1959. The first hovercraft passenger service began in 1962.
In 1919 aeroplanes began carrying passengers between London and Paris. Jet passenger aircraft were introduced in 1949.
However in the early 20th century flight was a luxury few people could afford. Furthermore only a small minority could afford foreign travel. Foreign holidays only became common in the 1960s.
The Boeing 747, the first 'Jumbo jet' was introduced in 1970.
The Channel Tunnel opened in 1994.
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