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|The A454 is a principal road|
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An individually numbered road may be in part a principal road and in part a trunk road. It may furthermore be in part a primary route and in part a non-primary route.
Examples of motorways – together with their maintaining authorities – which are at least in part principal roads include:
- A57(M) – Manchester City Council
- A58(M) – Leeds City Council
- M275 – Portsmouth City Council
- M65 – Lancashire County Council
Principal roads make up approximately 80% of the A-class and motorway network.
Note that the definitions given above are subject to confirmation as to their current application, since the meaning of the term principal road has been altered twice since its first introduction.
The term was first introduced by the Local Government Act 1966 for financial purposes. It ceased to be financially relevant following the passage of the Local Government Act 1974. The designation remains for other purposes, however – a principal road being treated under section 12(4) of the Highways Act 1980 as a classified road.