Road network size and condition statistics guidance

Guide to road network size and condition statistics, source documents, accompanying notes, definitions and supporting technical documents.


Department for Transport produces statistics relating to the Great Britain’s road network size and condition.

Further information on each of these topics is given below and in the documents above:

Road length statistics

Road length statistics provide estimates of the length of all roads maintained at public expense in Great Britain, by road category and region.

Within these statistics, roads are classified as either “major” or “minor”. Major roads include motorways and all class ‘A’ roads. These roads usually have high traffic flows and are often the main arteries to major destinations. Minor roads comprise ‘B’ and ‘C’ classified roads in addition to unclassified roads.

Information on the lengths of major roads is maintained by the Department for Transport using information from the Government Offices, local authorities, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and Ordnance Survey. The statistics include a trunk/principal breakdown for major roads.

Road length information for minor ‘B’, ‘C’ and unclassified roads is obtained from Ordnance Survey roads data (the Integrated Transport Network dataset), local authorities, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government. In additional to road class, road lengths statistics are classified by urban and rural roads. Urban roads are major and minor roads within an urban area with a population of 10,000 or more. The definition is based on the 2001 Communities and Local Government definition of Urban Settlements. Rural roads are major and minor roads outside urban areas.

Road condition statistics

Road condition statistics provides information on the condition of local authority road, motorways and trunk roads in England.

The statistics are drawn from a number of sources, including SCANNER surveys (machine surveys of local authorities’ classified roads), TRACS surveys (machine surveys of the Highways Agency’s road network), manual surveys of unclassified roads, and skidding resistance surveys.