Road are classified by categorising them to help direct motorists towards the most suitable routes for reaching their destination. This is done by identifying the roads that are best suited for different types and amounts of traffic.
All UK roads are classified within the six categories listed below, from the highest class at the top (motorways) to the lowest class at the bottom (unclassified):
In the East Riding there are two motorways: the M62 and the M18. These are maintained by Highways England (formerly known as the Highways Agency).
In the East Riding there are two trunk roads. These are the A63 from the Hull border to the M62 and the A1033 from the Hull border to Salt End Roundabout. These roads are also maintained by Highways England (formerly known as the Highways Agency).
These are major roads intended to provide large-scale transport links within or between areas. Generally an A road will be among the widest, most direct roads in an area, and is of the greatest significance to traffic travelling through the area.
These are roads intended to connect different areas, and to feed traffic between A roads and smaller roads on the network. B roads are still important routes for traffic (including traffic travelling through the area), but less so than an A road.
C roads (classified unnumbered)
These are generally smaller roads intended to connect together unclassified roads with A and B roads, and often linking a housing estate or a village to the rest of the network. A C road performs a more important function than an unclassified road.
These are local roads intended for local traffic. The majority (53.6%) of roads in the East Riding fall within this category. An unclassified road will generally have very low significance to traffic, and be of only very local importance.
Large amounts of traffic and traffic travelling long distances should use higher classes of road (motorways) and smaller amounts of traffic travelling at lower speeds over shorter distances should use lower classes of road (unclassified).
In addition to road classifications there is a Primary Route Network (PRN) which is the preferred route between a series of nationally recognised primary destinations. In the East Riding, the primary destinations are Bridlington, Goole and the Humber Bridge. Further afield, Hull, York, Selby, Scarborough and Lincoln are also primary destinations. A primary route is coloured green on an ordnance survey map and signed with green signs.