It is likely that the township remained basically unchanged until the introduction of turnpike roads in 1726, with the road between Liverpool and Prescot passing through Roby. This brought an increasing volume of traffic through the township, forcing the route to be altered on a number of occasions. Two houses were built for the collection of tolls, one of which Toll Bar Cottage, is still a prominent feature of the township today.
Further change was not far behind with the construction of the Liverpool-Manchester railway. The original route, proposed by George Stephenson in 1825, ran through both the Croxteth and Knowsley Estates and was heavily opposed by the Earls of Sefton and Derby respectively. Stephenson was replaced by Charles Vignoles, who advocated an alternative route via Huyton and Roby and which bypassed these Estates. Stephenson was re-instated as chief engineer and the revised route took less than three years to build, being officially opened in September 1830 by the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington.