MT 39/770

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CLASSIFICATION: Trunk roads: numbering and identification

Date range1936-1949
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 39


By the early 1930s long-distance car travel was increasingly possible, in terms of the ability of road vehicles, and was becoming a reality for a growing number of people. In response the Ministry of Transport decided to take direct control of the key long-distance routes to ensure consistency of maintenance, signposting and capacity. To achieve this it created the Trunk Roads Act of 1936.

This file sets out the system that they adopted in response to the Act's statutory requirement for a numbering system for the new routes. The full story is in this CBRD feature, but in short, new numbers were allocated with the prefix 'T' but were prevented from appearing on road signs at the last minute when another system was found (involving OS grid references) to assist maintenance crews in travelling to a specific location on the road.

Contents of note

  • Maps and plans of the T-road system.
  • Proposals to make Trunk Routes obvious by painting road sign poles red and white instead of black and white.
  • Details of a French system of an inverted triangle with 'N' in the centre to order traffic to stop at a National route.

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy, including maps and diagrams.