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Classification of roads and the Primary Route Network

Roads are organised through the roads classification system, along with the dedication of a primary route network to advise people to the recommended route to use.

This network then provides easily identifiable routes to access the whole of the country.  While authorities previously undertook the majority of the work involved in reclassifying a road, there was always the need to secure the agreement of the DfT for each new classification. Under the new approach, local highway authorities are now responsible for classifying roads which gives them the power to title ‘A', ‘B', ‘C' and ‘U' roads without the need for central government approval.

The reasoning behind this change is that local knowledge and local control of roads should help to reduce traffic jams and enable easier flow of people and vehicles through the road system.

In order to carry out these functions, local authorities need to fill in a single form for each change in road classification, submit the form to the central repository at GeoPlace, along with any associated documental evidence, and then enter it into NSG. It then automatically becomes live, without the need to wait for approval.

More information can be found here:
Guidance on Road Classification and Primary Route Network
Process diagram and background to the changes

The DfT has provided a standardised form for communicating any changes to the road classification and/or the Primary Route Network to interested parties. This can be found here:
Road Classification Change Form – Master.xls. Once complete , the form along with any supporting documents, should be sent to [email protected].

The form and supporting documents will be automatically distributed to the following bodies:
•    Department for Transport – For coordination purposes and to allow allocation of national road numbers.
•    Ordnance Survey - To be included on OS mapping products.
If you need to send the form and documents to any other organisation, please send it to them directly.