Buckinghamshire Highways Asset Management Strategy 2021

Last updated: 4 February 2022


In order to represent each assets’ contribution to our corporate objectives, the county’s highway network is assigned a hierarchy category.

Following the recommendations and principles of the guidance document “Well-managed Highway Infrastructure”, the entire network is categorised as outlined in the table below. The hierarchy enables a risk-based approach by dictating the safety and condition survey regimes and influences the prioritisation of works programmes allowing Buckinghamshire Highways to efficiently maintain a safe network.

The allocation of Hierarchy is carried out using a route-based approach following the guidance below.


Hierarchy category Hierarchy name Description


Strategic route

The most heavily trafficked A roads


Main distributor

The remaining heavily trafficked A roads


Secondary distributor

Lightly trafficked A roads, all B roads, heavily trafficked C roads and all traffic-sensitive streets


Local inter-connecting (link) road

Remaining C roads and non traffic-sensitive bus routes


Local access road

Roads providing local access


Hierarchy category Hierarchy name Description


Primary Walking Route

Busy, urban shopping areas, large offices, transport hubs, and amenities that generate significant footfall (or a combination).


Secondary Walking Route

Medium use routes feeding into Primary Routes, High Streets in smaller towns and local shopping parades in larger towns (over 5 shops). Footways outside schools, amenities and transport hubs that generate moderate footfall.


Link Footways

Connecting footways through urban areas. Footways serving small amenities and single businesses/shops and busy rural footways.


Local Access Footways

Footways associated with low usage estate roads and cul-de-sacs.


Rural Footways

Footways adjacent to rural/semi-rural roads where there are no significant property frontages.


Low Use Remote Footways

Footways not adjacent to highways and some surfaced Public Rights of Way.


Hierarchy category Hierarchy name Description


Cycle lane

Part of the carriageway adjacent to the kerb.


Cycle track

A route for cyclists not touching the public footway or carriageway.


Shared cycleway or footway

Either segregated by a white line/other feature or unsegregated.

Changes to the hierarchy

The highway network is constantly changing. Therefore, the hierarchy assignments will undergo a continuous review and updating process.

The network will be reviewed through the following means:

  • New and Adopted Streets
  • Changes in use or traffic flows
  • Applications for change to the hierarchy categories

New and adopted streets will be assigned a hierarchy category consistent with adjacent streets in accordance to a route-based approach. Changes in use or traffic flows may prompt a review of the road and associated route’s hierarchy. Local Area Technicians and Local Members may apply to change the hierarchy of a section of the carriageway. This will be dealt with in the same way as for newly adopted streets.

The allocation of roads within the hierarchy will be periodically reviewed at a network level and revised to reflect local factors and influence to best represent the network’s contribution to the council’s Strategic Objectives. This will include identifying those assets which are critical to the operation of the network to maximise availability of the network.