Industrialized Countries

In the introduction, LTRs are defined as roads with lower functions than the trunk roads. Their most common function is giving access to rural areas. In addition to this function, LTRs may serve functions specific to certain countries [2], such as

• providing access to remote communities, e.g., in Australia and Canada;

• providing access to and circulation within recreational areas;

• providing long-distance connections between remote centers, e.g., in Australia, Canada, and Finland.

Table 3.1. Relationships among possible road classifications in rural

areas

Pavement

Traffic Modes

Management

Width (m)

Access Functions

Allowed

Traffic Composition

Authority

3.0-3.5

Local access to parcels

All (mixed traffic)

Destination traffic:

Private, municipality

and farms

agricultural vehicles

4.5-6.0

Local/regional access to

Mixed traffic;

Destination traffic:

Municipality, county

villages; (collecting

sometimes

agricultural traffic,

and distributing local

bicycles

recreational traffic

traffic to higher-level

separated

networks)

6.0-7.5

Regional access

Bicycles and

Through and destination

County, region,

(opening up of

sometimes

traffic (cars and

district

regions, connection

agricultural

commercial vehicles

of regional centers)

vehicles

such as trucks, tractors,

separated

and buses)

>7.5

Flow function: through

Motor vehicles

Through traffic (fast

Federal, national

traffic on long

only

vehicles)

distances (no access)

This also illustrates the enormous differences between countries, resulting in completely different purposes of the LTR network. However, even within the LTRs for rural access, considerable differences appear. In the Netherlands, three categories of LTRs are distinguished. As shown in Fig. 3.5, trunk roads are neglected. The three categories of LTRs imply different levels of access. The lowest category (VIII) gives access to some parcels or a single farm. The next category (VII) gives access to farms, whereas the highest category (VI) gives access to the villages (local distributor road). The figure also shows that both categories VII and VIII are subdivided into two types with different pavement width. So, in practice five types of LTR appear for three access functions.

Table 3.2 presents an indication of the differences between the three access functions of LTRs. Traffic volumes, characteristics, and speeds and road characteristics are compared. The table also indicates an important characteristic of LTRs: the mixed composition of traffic by mode. Heavy and light vehicles, slow and fast vehicles, and cars and bicycles occur together. In terms of numbers, passenger cars are dominant. Remarkable is the small portion of agricultural vehicles even on agricultural access roads. Because of general developments in transport, the portion of trucks slightly decreased during the past decade but truck dimensions (including axle loads) clearly increased [6].

A recent development is a desired reduction of the number of categories of roads. For LTRs, one category with only two types is proposed. One type will be provided with a separate bicycle path. Further technical layout of both types is still open to discussion.

For example, to obtain a policy framework to be able to manage, improve, and maintain the Devon Rural Road Network (United Kingdom), the network was categorized in a special way. An appraisal of the entire network was carried out by classifying routes under a number of generalized functional headings. These headings were related to the settlement pattern but also recognized the requirements of industry and the volumes of

Figure 3.5. Classifications of roads with a lower hierarchical function [6].

Table 3.2. Comparison of traffic features on different access roads

Access Road to

Table 3.2. Comparison of traffic features on different access roads

Access Road to

Traffic Characteristics

Parcel

Farm

Village

Volumes (motor vehicles/day)

20-100

50-500

500-3,000

Portion of (%)

Passenger cars

65

69

78

Heavy-goods vehicles

3

4

5

Agricultural vehicles

5

3

2

Bicycles and mopeds

27

24

15

Average speeds (kph)

Heavy-goods vehicle

44.9

50.1

57.9a

Motor vehicle

47.1

57.6

66.5a

Exceeding speed limit (%)

2.6

10.3

26.9

Road type

VIII

VII

VI

Road characteristics

Pavement width (m)

3.5

4.5

6.0

Design speed (kph)

< 60

60

Capacity (motor vehicles/hour)

50

150

900

a Pavement width 5.5 m. Source: Adapted from [6].

Table 3.3. Functional network in Devon County, UK

Route Type

Function

Major road network

Motorway and primary routes

(national routes) Primary county routes Secondary county routes

Minor road network Local distributors Collector roads Minor collector roads Service roads Minor service roads Minor lanes Tracks

National strategic routes for through and long-distance traffic

Main county routes connecting principal settlements Main access routes to large settlements and principal recreational attractions

Access routes to small settlements and recreational attractions Access routes to small villages and other significant generators Local roads serving small hamlets and scattered communities Local roads serving a few properties Local roads serving only one property

Other minor roads serving fields only or duplicating other routes Not normally used by vehicular traffic

traffic, particularly trucks. Table 3.3 sets out the functional route network—both the major and the minor road network—for Devon County [7].

The Swiss distinguish among connection roads (point-to-point traffic), collection roads (area-related traffic), and access and minor access roads (parcel-related traffic) [4]. The German subdivision roughly consists of community roads, farm roads, forest roads, and rural roads for other purposes [8].

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