Ministry of Transport Road Traffic Census 1928 Report

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Owned bySteven
TypePublications (see all artefacts)


Ah, 1928. When the entire concept of numbering roads was new and exciting.

The full title of this document really won't fit as the name on the ArchiveWiki. It is:

Ministry of Transport Road Traffic Census, 1928. Report including Tables of Statistics of Traffic Recorded on Class I Roads in Great Britain at the General Census taken in August, 1928, and at the Special Census taken during 1928-29, Together With Diagrams, Charts and Maps.

And breathe.

This really is Schrodinger's Document. On one hand, it's really quite interesting - being full of little nuggets like there were a number of such surveys that took place in the 1920s - 1922, 1925 and 1928 for Class I roads; and 1923, 1926 and 1929 for Class II roads. These were then used as the starting point for the myriad of renumberings that happened in the 1920s. There's specimen forms in here, some data around the census points, and even some nice maps of the South Lancashire and London areas showing just how much traffic increased during the 1920s. There's even factoids such as the length of Class I roads increaded by 3,340 miles between 1921 and 1928, and the fact (that I didn't realise) that in England and Wales roads were the jobs of the lower tier district authorities (plus County Boroughs) until the Local Government Act of 1929 came into force on 1 April 1930 when they became the responsibility of County Councils (plus of course, County Borough Councils). Except in Scotland, where they already were County Council functions.

However, in other ways it's a tad disappointing. There's very little actual data in here - only a very small subset of the results is available, and then only for single points on about 30 roads. Unless you're interested in the A.583, for which there's a nice set of charts available detailing traffic across the hours of the day on three selected occasions. Not surprisingly, it would appear that the Preston - Blackpool road was a tad busy during the summer months.