Historians continue to argue about where exactly left-hand traffic first appeared. Perhaps this happened in several places at once. Nevertheless, England is traditionally considered the ancestor country of such an unusual form of "road relations". This is because it was in Great Britain that the movement on the left side was enshrined in law back in 1756. What is the reason?
There is a popular opinion in Great Britain that left-hand traffic in the country is a legacy of the Roman occupation. The capture of still "barbaric" Britain by the "civilized" Romans took place in 45 BC. Immediately after that, the Romans began to turn the island (in fact) into their resource colony. In the south of present-day England there were many mines and quarries. However, the Romans did not completely conquer the British Isles, in the north of the region there were still “restless locals”.
To solve economic and military problems in Britain, they began to build roads, which were primarily of strategic importance. The rapid movement of foot Roman legions across the Republic (at the time) required a network of good roads. There is every reason to believe that the movement on these roads for ordinary citizens and merchants was “conditionally left-hand”. For the Romans, all ordinary traffic on the road took place on the left side, since the right side was reserved for marching legionnaires. This conjecture is confirmed by numerous studies of the cobbled roads of the Romans that have survived to this day.
Thus, the importance of the left side of the road for everyday traffic could easily migrate into the legal and everyday culture of local residents, having survived including after the Western Roman Empire collapsed.
There is also another version. Some researchers point out that the reason for the legalization of left-hand traffic in the UK may be the maritime business. This is because, according to the naval traditions of England, ships always had to go around each other only on the left side.
Whatever it was, left-hand traffic was and remains a very strange and at the same time interesting tradition. By the way, the British Empire brought left-hand traffic to many other countries that used to be its colonies.
Continuing the topic, look at 10 ancient artifacts from the homeland of kilt, whiskey and bagpipes and not only.