Classified Unnumbered road
|Classified Unnumbered road|
|Wolverhampton's U99 is an example of a Class III road|
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|Trunk road • Principal road • Classified Numbered road • Unclassified road|
A Classified unnumbered road, or Class III road, is a category of road in the United Kingdom, recognised by the Department for Transport. In importance, they are between Classified Numbered roads (also known as Class II or B roads), and Unclassified roads.
Designating or de-designating a road as "classified unnumbered" requires the approval of the Secretary of State for Transport.
Suggestions for increasing the classification of roads started almost immediately after the initial allocations in 1922-23. Several London borough councils thought more roads should be classified in their areas, particularly roads that were used as bus routes. C roads began to appear as an informal set of classifications on a per-county basis during the 1940s, and while there was consideration to putting them on signs, this was abandoned. Class III roads themselves were instituted in April 1946, and from that time grants of 50% were allocated to Highway Authorities towards to costs of work on these roads.
Local Highway Authorities are permitted to create their own local designations for such roads, which remain officially unnumbered at a national level. As the most common approach is to use C number designations, these roads are often referred to as C-roads, although the Highway Authority can use any letter (such as City of Wolverhampton Council that use "U", which they state stands for urban classified); or indeed can choose not to number them at all. Any numbering of a Class III road should be unique within each Highway Authority; and will not be unique nationally.
However, the existence of an internal number for the road within a Highway Authority does not mean that the road is a Class III road. Some authorities also choose to number some or all of their Unclassified roads network with secondary letters, often D or U.
Origin of name
Whilst the term classified unnumbered seems like an oxymoron, the term comes from the fact that historically the roads were classified for funding purposes, yet were not numbered at a national level.
- Roads in England and Wales 1956-57 - Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (1958) page: 11