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Categories of roads, footways and cycleways

How we have classified our roads, footways and cycleways to help us prioritise highway maintenance in Suffolk.

It is not possible for works to be carried out everywhere at the same time so there has to be prioritisation and that has to be undertaken adopting a risk-based approach, which is what central government wants all local highway authorities like Suffolk to do. The busier a road or footway is in terms of traffic, the greater the chance of a defect causing a problem.

The classification of roads as A, B, C and Unclassified does not necessarily reflect the needs, priorities and actual use of each road in a local highway network. It is important that our maintenance strategy reflects factors such as:

  • importance (e.g. a road leading to a major hospital);
  • environment (e.g. rural, urban, busy shopping street, residential street etc.); and
  • usage (e.g. traffic flows, bus routes and the like). 

Suffolk Highways has therefore established a hierarchy of roads, footways (including rights of way) and cycleways which is used to prioritise maintenance and acts as a key link between our maintenance policy and our day-to-day operations. Effectively, Suffolk Highways is giving greater priority to the roads that carry most vehicles and less priority to the less-trafficked roads.

Further information is shown below - you can find out more about how we provide highway maintenance in our Highway Maintenance Operational Plan (PDF, 1,950KB).

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