The classification of Britain’s roads dates back to the 1920s, when it had become clear that it was necessary to have a system to help motorists identify good routes for driving. In the 1960s, the existing system was overhauled to help deal with an age of mass-motoring.
From April 2012, central government will be handing over greater responsibility to local highway authorities for the management of the roads classification system. While authorities had previously done the majority of the work involved in reclassifying a road, they always needed to secure the agreement of the Department for Transport. Under the new approach, authorities are allowed to exercise this power without the need for central approval.
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