The legacy of the Roman Road network is still seen in the landscape and road network of today. The Great North Road often follows major Roman routes. Ermine Street led from London to York. Dere Street from York to Edinburgh.
In pre-historic times there was definitely long distance travel and trade but this was mostly using unpaved tracks often running along elevated ridges of hills.
Roman roads were surveyed and built from scratch. They connected towns and strategic locations by the most direct possible route. The roads were often paved to permit use in all seasons and weather. Most of the network was complete by 180 AD. Its primary function was to allow the rapid movement of troops and military supplies, but it also provided vital infrastructure for trade and the transport of goods.