Highways UK | The Genesis of our Road Networks
Derek Turner is co-chair of the Highways UK advisory board and a former deputy chief executive of the Highways Agency.
Here, Derek shares a few words about the genesis of our road networks, how they are evolving and how Highways UK helps keep you in the picture…
“In the beginning, there were… paths and tracks; then came lanes and ridgeways; then along came turnpikes and streets; although arguably they were all just roads – mainly Unclassified but some Classified ‘C’, ‘B’, ‘A’, in rising importance, with some of those ‘A’ roads also categorised as ‘All Purpose’ Trunk Roads (APTR), which when combined with the ‘top’ tier of highways, the Motorways (which incidentally can also claim Trunk Road status!) make up the country’s Strategic Road Network (SRN).
- Can all involved please consider, maintain, operate and improve the MRN consistently as a coherent single network e.g. for winter ‘gritting’.
- The local highway authorities concerned are, in general, so short of cash that they may not be able to appropriately maintain their elements of the MRN to a consistent standard. Hopefully, the allocation of the new funds will be allowed to help them do so. Pot holes on the MRN would not, I think, be a good idea.
- The MRN would be likely to benefit from being an identifiable coherent network. Fortunately, it already encompasses significant parts of the Primary Route Network. Is it time to revisit the Primary Route Network and the mysteries and obscurities governing the use of ‘Green Back’ directional signs?
- Could some way be found so that the consistent deployment and operation of roadside technology on the MRN be facilitated and accelerated?
- Hopefully, the additional funds will not be just allocated for by-passes and major improvements but to deal with safety and other issues which impede the MRN from being the route to economic growth that its creators, supporters and advocates intended.