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Information on your highways.

Road hierarchies in Gloucestershire 

Financial modelling is now undertaken using road hierarchy as a means of dividing the assessed roads rather than the traditional method of road class. In a number of cases this will be broadly similar to class however the hierarchy takes into account the importance and functionality that each road currently contributes towards the highway network as a whole rather than a historically assigned category. Road hierarchies are defined as follows:





Strategic Route

Routes for traffic travelling long distances, often with little frontage access or pedestrian traffic. Speed limits are usually in excess of 40 mph and there are few junctions. Pedestrian crossings are either segregated or controlled and parked vehicles are often prohibited. Not always National Speed Limit.




Routes between Strategic Routes and linking urban centres to the strategic network often with limited frontage access. In urban areas speed limits are usually 40 mph or less, parking is often restricted at peak times and there are positive measures for pedestrian safety


Secondary Distributor

In rural areas these roads link the larger villages, industrial sites and commercial sites to the Strategic and Main Distributor Network. In urban areas these roads usually have 30 mph speed limits and very high levels of pedestrian activity with some crossing facilities including zebra crossings.


Link Road

Roads interconnecting the Distributor Networks with Collector Roads and Local Access Roads with frontage access and frequent junctions. In rural areas these roads link the smaller villages to the distributor roads. In urban areas these form residential, industrial and public transport interconnecting roads, usually with 30 mph speed limits and pedestrian movements.


Local Link Road

These roads are residential interconnecting roads, usually with uncontrolled pedestrian movements. They provide well used vehicular links to local access roads.


Local Access Road

In rural areas these roads serve small settlements and provide access to a number of properties or land. In urban areas they are often residential streets, cul-de-sacs or small industrial estates.


Minor Road

In rural areas these form minor access roads to houses and farms. In urban areas these form minor side roads and vehicular alleyways.



In urban areas are often metalled no through lanes serving garages or the rear of properties. In rural areas these often narrow metalled roads serving isolated agricultural buildings


Green Lanes & Tracks

Lanes and tracks that are unsuitable for vehicular traffic. In rural areas these may be used as a footpath, part of a Cycle Trail, or by horse riders, generally for leisure purposes. In Urban areas, these are mostly residential interconnecting footpaths


Disused Tracks

Roads that have become unrecognisable having fallen into disuse through regression or agricultural use.

Backlog of maintenance

Recent modelling work in 020/21 estimates the backlog of repair in the county in the region of approximately £80 million. Figures shown in the table below are expressed in £ millions and again relate to road hierarchy rather than class.   













Page updated: 18/10/2021 Page updated by: GCC

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