New gradings for Plymouth’s roads

More than 100 roads in Plymouth are to be given a higher classification following a comprehensive review of the city’s network.

The review has shown a number of the city’s roads are ‘under-graded’ when assessed against national guidelines and that Plymouth has fewer A and B roads compared with similar cities and the national average.

This means we are not receiving as much highway maintenance funding from central Government as we could be.

The Department for Transport (DfT) splits its maintenance funding three ways between A roads, B and C roads and U roads, with each council getting an allocation based on its share of the road network in each category.

The vast majority of roads in the UK are unclassified – so the higher a council’s share of A, B or C roads, the more funding it can receive.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure said: “It’s absolutely crucial that our road gradings are accurate – so that we can show their importance on the network and get our fair share of the funding available for keeping them in good repair.

“Roads used to be classified by the DfT but they handed this over to local councils so we have taken the opportunity to carry out a thorough review. We have assessed our roads against national guidance and found that many are graded lower than they should be.

“Our B and C roads currently make up 14.61 per cent of our network, compared to a national average of 28.01 per cent (almost double). We estimate the new gradings could increase our funding by around £100,000 a year – which means much more money for us to invest in road repairs and improvements.”

Plymouth’s new road classifications will see 111 roads change from U to C. Morgan Road and the remainder of Millbay Road (section near the ferryport) will change from U to B, the A38 slip roads at Forder Valley will change from U to A and the Forder Valley roundabout will change from B to A.

The new classifications have been approved today under delegated authority and may be subject to call-in for scrutiny.

Road classifications:

A roads:                  major roads providing large-scale transport links
B roads:                  roads connecting different areas and feeding traffic between A roads and smaller roads
Classified (C):         smaller roads connecting unclassified roads with A and B roads and often linking a housing estate or a village to the rest of the network
Unclassified (U):     local roads intended for local traffic