Catalogue description Highways: Correspondence and Papers

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Details of MT 39
Reference: MT 39
Title: Highways: Correspondence and Papers

This series contains correspondence and papers relating to the administration of highway powers of the Ministry of Transport in respect of: motorways and trunk roads; of grants to local highway authorities for the improvement and maintenance of classified roads; and Welsh roads and bridges from the period before this responsibility was transferred to the Welsh Office in 1965.

Also included are bill papers.

Some files relevant to the London Traffic Branch of the Ministry of Transport are also included, together with files from the TRL series (otherwise in MT 139).

Some files of the Road Research Laboratory are in this series.

Date: 1862-1973

The series is arranged alphabetically

Related material:

Records of the Welsh Roads Division are in BD 30

Records of the Welsh Divisional Road Engineer are in BD 31

Other files relating to Welsh roads can be found in BD 43

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Board of Trade, 1786-1970

Physical description: 1074 files and flat sheets
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Ministry of Transport , from 1967 to 1970 , from 1976 to 1980 , from 1984 to 1995 , from 2000

Department of Transport , from 1967 to 1970 , from 1976 to 1980 , from 1984 to 1995 , from 2000

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions , from 1967 to 1970 , from 1976 to 1980 , from 1984 to 1995 , from 2000

Department of the Environment , from 1967 to 1970 , from 1976 to 1980 , from 1984 to 1995 , from 2000

Administrative / biographical background:

The Road Board was set up under the Development and Road Improvements Funds Act 1909, with power to construct and maintain new roads and to assist local highway authorities financially in constructing new and improving existing roads. In 1919, these powers passed to the Ministry of Transport by means of the Ministry of Transport Act 1919. This Act authorised the Ministry to classify roads by reference to their through traffic value for the purpose of making grants towards the cost of maintaining and improving selected roads, and by 1923 many roads had been Class I or Class II. Under the Local Government Act 1929, all roads in rural areas became the responsibility of County Councils.

The Trunk Roads Act 1936 made the Minister of Transport the highway authority for the principal through routes in Great Britain, and by the Trunk Roads Act 1946 an additional 3,700 miles of road were added to the trunk road system and Class III roads were added to the classified road system, being roads of more than local importance

By the Special Roads Act 1949 highway authorities, including the Minister of Transport, were authorised to construct roads, such as motorways for specified classes of road users.

From 1 April 1956, the Secretary of State for Scotland became the highway auhority for trunk roads in Scotland and similar powers relating to Wales and Monmouth were granted to the Secretary of State for Wales from 1 April 1965.

This series contains files relating to highways from over 50 registered file series.

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