Road surface companies and the roads they cover

Road surface companies and the roads they cover

Road surface companies have certainly got their work cut out for them: Britain has more than 245,000 miles of road and the figure grows by no small amount each year.  This is 5,800 miles more than there were 20 years ago, and during that time the length of main roads and motorways has increased by 11.8 percent. This has been equated to a surface area of approximately 2,200 square kilometres—so that’s a significant amount of road surface requiring reactive maintenance, and it certainly keeps the Britain’s road surface companies busy.

The lengths of British roads by type and by region

Road surface companies are employed by a variety of agencies and local authorities to keep Britain’s paved surfaces up to scratch. According to figures from the Department of Transport for 2015, there were:

  • Motorways–2,300 miles
  • Trunk A roads—5,300 miles
  • Principal A roads–2,300 miles
  • B roads—18,800 miles
  • C roads–52,400 miles
  • U roads—143,300 miles

Motorways and trunk roads are centrally managed by Highways England, Transport Scotland or the Welsh Government, while other principal roads and smaller roads are managed by local authorities.

Of the 245,000 miles of road in Great Britain:

  • 188,000 miles or 76.4 percent is in England
  • 21,100 miles or 8.6 percent is in Wales
  • 36,900 miles or 15.0 percent is in Scotland

Interestingly, Scotland has the highest proportion of major roads with 18 percent, while England and Wales have 12 and 13 percent major roads respectively. This is good news for road surface companies that operate in Scotland as major roads naturally require more and better maintenance than minor roads due to their heavier traffic loads.

Road lengths versus traffic volume

Although major roads make up only just over 12 percent of the total road length, they account for more than 65 percent of the traffic on Britain’s roads. Conversely, minor roads add up to 87 percent of the road length but carry a mere 34 percent of the traffic. This means that the stress and pressure of use is far greater on the major roads and road surfacing companies need to take this into account when specifying them and maintaining them.

Road surfacing companies: it’s not just roads

If 2,200 square kilometres of road surface sounds like a lot to maintain, you need to bear in mind that these are not the only pavement surfaces that road surfacing companies are responsible for maintaining. Private roads and driveways, air fields and airports, private and public car parks, freight terminals, bridges, pavements and cycle tracks, racing tracks, parks and playgrounds all need their surfaces maintained to ensure the safety and convenience of users. That really adds up to a vast area of asphalt and other road surfaces—it’s no wonder road surfacing companies are busy.

Here at Asphalt Reinforcement Services, we have an extensive geographical reach. If you would like to know more about how we could support your resurfacing project then please give us a call on 01525 722 200.