The opening of the Erewash Canal (1779), the Nutbrook Canal, the Nottingham Canal and the Derby Canal (all opened 1796) enabled coal and iron products to be easily transported to markets in the regional cities and beyond, taking destructive pressure off the roads.

The railway companies extended the links and enabled the transport of people as well as goods.

Increased wealth brought in from trade meant an increasing population and this wealth enabled Ilkeston to invest in transport links within the town.

Now the core industries have changed, the railway system is much reduced and the canal network changed almost beyond recognition by most of the population, we're left with an enviable legacy of paths and cycleways.