Transport minister proposes reform on classification of local roads

10.03 | 3 February 2011 |

Norman Baker, the transport minister, has said that local councils, rather than the DfT, should have the power to reclassify local roads (BBC News).

It is hoped the move will help drivers and residents by making satellite navigation systems less likely to send them down unsuitable roads. The move follows stories of lorries getting stuck down country lanes and increased congestion in some areas.

Decisions on changes such as downgrading an A road to a B road, which would be expected to reduce levels of sat nav-directed traffic, must currently be approved by the DfT.

Under the proposed system, Whitehall would only be consulted where there were ‘serious disagreements’ about a council’s decision.

Norman Baker said: “The current system dates back to the 1960s and is a hangover from the days of ‘Whitehall knows best’. This reform will cut red tape and mean councils can better control traffic in their area.

“They can ensure A roads are placed where they want traffic to run, and can lower the category of roads in places they want traffic to avoid.

"By making it less onerous for councils to ensure road classification better reflects conditions on the ground, journeys will be easier to navigate.

"We are also using this as an opportunity to invite new ideas of tackling some of the problems caused by sat navs.”

Click here to read the full BBC News report.


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