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Help requested posted on 23rd November 2017:

B Road Classification / Definition

Does anyone know if regulations exist that determine if a road classification is fit for purpose? As an example we have a B road classification on a road increasingly being used by larger vehicles which are too wide to pass each other as the width of the road is limited. Our assumption is that sat nav routing is responsible for attracting higher volumes of through traffic. Is it possible to have a road classification lowered to only attract vehicles which can safely pass through in both directions without mounting pavements etc?

Paul Grainger

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Response posted on 23rd November 2017 by:
Derek C Donald

E: d.c.donald@btinternet.com
T: 01463792154

B Road Classification / Definition

In all my time in a roads department I was never aware of any regulations which determined the category of a road, indeed we had roads classified as Trunk Roads which were single track and indeed I am sure that there are still some roads so classified in other areas of the country.
Ther only time that I can recollect a local authority determining the classification of a roadwas when a new trunk road was built and the old road came under the jurisdiction of the local authority and they had to determine whether it would be an A, B or other class of road.
I am awaiting a response from a former colleague as to whether he has knowledge of any regulations and will inform you of his findings.


Response posted on 23rd November 2017 by:
Robert Woolley

E: robertwoolley@greenbee.net
T:

B Road Classification / Definition

You would find https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-road-classification-and-the-primary-route-network
helpful for definitions, guidance and responsibilities.


Response posted on 24th November 2017 by:
Andrew Fraser

E: andrew.fraser@falkirk.gov.uk
T:

B Road Classification / Definition

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-road-classification-and-the-primary-route-network


Response posted on 24th November 2017 by:
Nick Hughes

E: nick.hughes@lancashire.gov.uk
T:

B Road Classification / Definition

Other than the gov.uk link which you have already been sent I seem to recall a more real world description of what each type of road classification "feels" like in an old publication called "Roads and Transport in the Urban Environment". Pretty sure it said something like on B Class roads some obstructions to two way flow can be expected.
As the guidance says it is basically up to the local Highway Authority to classify its roads.


Response posted on 24th November 2017 by:
Joe Walker

E: joe.walker@kirklees.gov.uk
T:

B Road Classification / Definition

We declassified Bradford Road at Oakenshaw (West Yorkshire). It was previously part of the A638, but is now declassified. It was to a great extent superceded by the M606.
This was done as an environmental measure approx 30 years since following public pressure, and allowed us to remove the 'A' road direction signing at each end. However, it is debatable how beneficial the scheme was in terms of actual traffic reduction.


Response posted on 30th November 2017 by:
Adrian Roberts

E: aroberts@cormacltd.co.uk
T: 01872 327376

B Road Classification / Definition

The previous responses cover the technical issues of classification well. I would add the following points if you are thinking of reclassifying the road.

First, there is an obvious draw for these vehicles; they are plainly going to and from somewhere. Reclassifying the road will not remove the journeys, so you would need to consider what the alternative route(s) would be, if you are actually successful in diverting this traffic. Would it simply displace the problem, possibly onto an even less appropriate road?

Second, if the problem is caused by following SatNav rather than direction signs, you may wish to check carefully first whether a simple reclassification would have any effect at all. SatNav usually directs drivers via the 'shortest' or 'fastest' route, and this logic may remain completely unaffected by a change to the formal road classification. The same may be true if these are simply local drivers following a well-known route, of course.

I'm afraid I'm not convinced that a change to a road's classification alone would sort traffic out by width! If the intent is that light traffic should continue to use the road, while heavy traffic diverts, then a reclassification may be a poor discriminator. Alternative measures could include white-on-black HGV signing (e.g. diagram 2805), diagram 820 'Unsuitable for' signs, or ultimately, a traffic restriction on width/length/weight, whether in both directions or just one. Again though, a more suitable alternative route will need to be established.


Response posted on 15th December 2017 by:
Derek C Donald

E: d.c.donald@btinternet.com
T: 01463792154

B Road Classification / Definition

Further to my previous reply, I have now received somwe further information from former colleagues.
It would appear that the decision on whether a road is an A, B or C class is made by Central Government through Transport Scotland. The Council only classify U class roads.

The Department of Transportís advice is more readily available applying to England.

If you would like a copy of the documentation I received please email me.


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