Trunk roads and Primary routes

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With negotiations to have the A525 through Audlem 'de-primed' still going on, a correspondent has contacted Audlem Online asking about the difference between a 'Primary Route' and a 'Trunk Road'.

Trunk Roads, it seems, were first defined in the Trunk Roads Act of 1936. Thirty major roads were classed as Trunk Roads and the Minister of Transport took direct control of them and the bridges across them. The government has de-trunked much of the trunk road network since the late 1990s transferring responsibility to local councils. The current 4,814 miles of trunk roads in England are managed by the Highways Agency.

Most interurban trunk roads are also 'primary routes'. 'Primary Route' is the category of recommended roads for long distance and freight transport. Not all primary routes are trunk roads, the difference being that while the trunk roads are maintained by central government, primary routes are the responsibility of the local councils. Primary routes are identified by their direction signs, which feature white text on a green background with route numbers in yellow.

Trunk roads were often listed on older maps with a "T" in brackets after their normal numbers so as to distinguish them from non-trunk parts of the same road. However, this 'T' is no longer included on current Ordnance Survey maps.

The current OS maps simply distinguish between primary and non-primary 'A' roads. This is why it is important to get the A525 'de-primed' as it is the Ordnance Survey who supply the information to the Satellite Navigation (Satnav) operators. Once de-primed, the A525 would no longer be a recommended road for long distance and freight transport and this information would be on the Satnav systems used by most long-distance trucks. This would then discourage them from coming through Audlem.


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