In the UK the preferred mode of transport is undoubtedly the private motor car. This preference has had an overwhelming effect upon the way Central Government and Local Government view public transport in the UK. Despite politicians statements about the desirability of public transport the message is plain
"If you want to get about, get a car".
In the days when public transport was the norm both trams and extensive railway systems operated in the UK. Trams became the local transport system and were confined to the towns to cater to the more denseley populated areas. Since trams run on rails, the capital cost of the laying and the maintenance of the tramway is considerable. The railways were more relevant in the transport of people between population centres.
When buses became viable they quickly replaced trams owing to the flexibility of routes they could cover. Over time buses have also been able to compete effectively with the railways, particularly on commuter routes. The motor car has supplanted trams, railways and trains as the principal mode of transport.