Thirty years ago rail was in decline and roads were in the ascendant. It's taken thirty years for everybody to accept that the reverse is now true. Railways did not close because they had served their purpose but because in the 60s and 70s there was still a cheap alternative - oil. Governments tend to think in 5 year cycles (which match the electoral cycle), the fact that oil would become scarce from 2000 and vanish almost totally by 2030 didn't figure in the Beeching Plan or even in transport policy a few years ago.
Now signs of the crunch are all around - initially increasing congestion as the rail alternatives are not yet in place but economic development continues, the pressure on air travel is growing daily, years before the true economic pressures hit, climate change is accelerating but, most notably, oil/resource wars are proliferating at the same time as the world's big powers juggle for position in the post-oil world, whether it's the US developing (fake) biofuel industries or the BRIC countries developing much of their industry and infrastructure in a sustainable way. Future cities in the developing world are being designed to be car-free - this is not a lifestyle choice but harsh economic reality kicking in.
There's no longer a case to be made for the end of road transport - the case has made itself through the twin perils of Peak Oil and Climate Change.
The actual choice is between two futures - a stay-at-home low activity locally based economy or a rail-based high tech national economy. Globalisation will only survive through the Internet - probably the most important technological development since railways. The probable outcome will be a synthesis of stay-at-home and rail. Economic activity will be based in small cities, market towns and villages with much produced close-to-home, but hopefully with some element of travel and inter-regional trade requiring a dense railway network to carry freight and people. Hopefully things won't get so dull and 60s socialist that travel and holidays for pleasure vanish entirely!
The outlook for the new S&D is looking rosier by the day, and progress on the ground is matching progress in the outside world. It may be thirty years before we can hop on a train at Midsomer Norton and ride all the way back to Bath quickly and safely, but each day that passes brings us a day closer!