Thus where the land is good and the materials for erecting a causeway near, the less land may serve; and on the contrary, the more; but in general allowing them the quantity of land proportioned to the length of the causeway, and forty rods in breadth: though where the land is poor, as on downs and plains, the proportion must be considered to be adjusted by the country.
Another point for the dimensions of roads should be adjusted; and the breadth of them, I think, cannot be less than thus:
From London every way ten miles the high post-road to be built full forty feet in breadth and four feet high, the ditches eight feet broad and six feet deep, and from thence onward thirty feet, and so in proportion.
Cross-roads to be twenty feet broad, and ditches proportioned; no lanes and passes less than nine feet without ditches.
The middle of the high causeways to be paved with stone, chalk, or gravel, and kept always two feet higher than the sides, that the water might have a free course into the ditches; and persons kept in constant employ to fill up holes, let out water, open drains, and the like, as there should be occasion--a proper work for highwaymen and such malefactors, as might on those services be exempted from the gallows.
It may here be objected that eight years' assessment to be demanded down is too much in reason to expect any of the poorer sort can pay; as, for instance, if a farmer who keeps a team of horse be at the common assessment to work a week, it must not be put so hard upon any man as to work eight weeks together. It is easy to answer this objection.
So many as are wanted, must be had; if a farmer's team cannot be spared without prejudice to him so long together, he may spare it at sundry times, or agree to be assessed, and pay the assessment at sundry payments; and the bank may make it as easy to them as they please.
Another method, however, might be found to fix this work at once. As suppose a bank be settled for the highways of the county of Middlesex, which as they are, without doubt, the most used of any in the kingdom, so also they require the more charge, and in some parts lie in the worst condition of any in the kingdom.
If the Parliament fix the charge of the survey of the highways upon a bank to be appointed for that purpose for a certain term of years, the bank undertaking to do the work, or to forfeit the said settlement.
As thus: suppose the tax on land and tenements for the whole county of Middlesex does, or should be so ordered as it might, amount to 20,000 pounds per annum more or less, which it now does, and much more, including the work of the farmers' teams, which must be accounted as money, and is equivalent to it, with some allowance to be rated for the city of London, &c., who do enjoy the benefit, and make the most use of the said roads, both for carrying of goods and bringing provisions to the city, and therefore in reason ought to contribute towards the highways (for it is a most unequal thing that the road from Highgate to Smithfield Market, by which the whole city is, in a manner, supplied with live cattle, and the road by those cattle horribly spoiled, should lie all upon that one parish of Islington to repair); wherefore I will suppose a rate for the highways to be gathered through the city of London of 10,000 pounds per annum more, which may be appointed to be paid by carriers, drovers, and all such as keep teams, horses, or coaches, and the like, or many ways, as is most equal and reasonable; the waste lands in the said county, which by the consent of the parishes, lords of the manors, and proprietors shall be allowed to the undertakers, when inclosed and let out, may (the land in Middlesex generally letting high) amount to 5,000 pounds per annum more. If, then, an Act of Parliament be procured to settle the tax of 30,000 pounds per annum for eight years, most of which will be levied in workmen and not in money, and the waste lands for ever, I dare be bold to offer that the highways for the whole county of Middlesex should be put into the following form, and the 5,000 pounds per annum land be bound to remain as a security to maintain them so, and the county be never burdened with any further tax for the repair of the highways.