Legal definition required - Flat in Fifth
Looking for the legal definition of a dual carriageway, as embodied in UK legislation.

Think it is included in Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, possibly Schedule 6, but do not have access to a copy.

It is clear from other UK legislation that in broad brush terms a central reservation needs to be in place.

One definition of a central reservation is as follows:

"central reservation" means -

(a) any land between the carriageways of a road comprising two carriageways; or

(b) any permanent work (other than a traffic island) in the carriageway of a road, which separates the carriageway or, as the case may be, the part of the carriageway which is to be used by traffic moving in one direction from the carriageway or part of the carriageway which is to be used (whether at all times or at particular times only) by traffic moving in the other direction;

source Traffic Signs and General Directions Regulations 2002 part 1 section 4 general interpretations.

Might seem a simple question with an obvious answer I know.

However it has been suggested that a ghost island (ie white paint cross hatchings solid white line surround) could qualify as a central reserve. I disagree with that view.

Pls discuss.


PS Where is DVD when you need him?
Legal definition required - Altea Ego
Cant be legal about this but my thoughts are.

1/ Does Ghost island could qualify as (a) "any land" what is "Land"?
2/ Ghost island could qualify as (b) "permanent work" and its seems to suggest that "wether at all times or at particular times only" it can be moveable, so tidal flows could be involved.
Legal definition required - SR
Wouldn't signage be a factor - start/end of dual carriageway? I very much doubt if "ghost" islands have these.
Legal definition required - Cliff Pope
And of course breaks in the reservation have to be allowed without declassifying the road as dual-carriageway. These can be quite long, eg where there are slip lanes to allow right hand turns, or at light-controlled crossing of one d-c by another.
Does the "reservation" have to have a finite width? What about railings?
Legal definition required - eMBe {P}
Looking for the legal definition of a dual carriageway, as


I will TRY and get you an answer in a day or two.
Legal definition required - Dwight Van Driver
FiF

Its in your EMail......

PU Any case law on 'land' as my sources are limited?

DVD
Legal definition required - Kuang
I tend to agree with you re. the ghost island.

I'd say after reading that definition that the nature of the separating article makes a difference. It might actually have to be a physical thing rather than road markings, as these don't effectively separate the carriageways at all - merely indicate which side is which. If this was the case then any two-lane road with a central dotted line could arguably be a dual carriageway.
Legal definition required - Sooty Tailpipes
I would suppose it is a road designated by a dual carriageway sign? as there seems to be exceptions to other rules.
Legal definition required - Flat in Fifth
Thanks to all for comments so far and offers of help.

To give an extremely shortened version of DVD's mail if he will permit. Road Traffic Regulation Act appears to throw not much more light on it than TSGDR2002 and DVD has more or less ended up doing what I did, i.e. going round in circles between the various bits of legislation and ending up with other questions. Hence question to PU et al for any case law.

Re signage at beginning and end. I could nominate some stretches without signs where any sensible person would class this as a dual, so whilst the presence of such signs is a clear indicator perhaps their presence is not mandatory.

I have now had another look at Highways Agency Design Manual Roads and Bridges, known in the trade as DMRB.

Volume 6 Part 1 sections 1 & 2 give guidance and have now found recommended central reserve widths for various types of roads. But that is all it is recommended only. Again I could nominate roads which fall well deficient of the guidelines.

Continuing to look. If anyone has trouble sleeping I can recommend DMRB, all 15 volumes of it, a real bodice ripper........not.

Did you know, for example, that sight lines at islands have to assume a max grass height of 0.5m, so councils who deliberately put in bushes etc to reduce sight lines are deliberately flouting the rules it appears.

Just in case you are wondering why. All this started from a conversation where a surprising number of self proclaimed petrolheads didn't know the correct limits on NSL single and dual carriageways. Some had received points and fines because they didn't know, which then led to the "so what is the definition of a dual then?" So here we are.
Legal definition required - borasport20
I was curious as to where this started... Thanks for letting us know.
But as for anybody who doesn't know the difference between the NSL for single and dual carriageways, I can't say i'm that bothered if thay've got points on their licence.


I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Legal definition required - MV
I would guess that the place to look for this type of information may well be a legal practitioner's textbook on Road Traffic Law, such as Wilkinson's Road Traffic Offences. I am afraid that we do not carry this in our University library, so I cannot offer a definitive answer on this one!

I reckon that there may be no answer fothcoming as even if this issue has been broached in court in the past, it may not have been in a reported case and therefore will not have made it into the books. I will have a look on the internet services that we have here tomorrow to see what I can find out.
Legal definition required - borasport20
FiF - did you get a definitive answer ?

found my self going home a different way yesterday - 1.5 mile stretch of wide road, NSL signposted, 2 lanes in each direction, and for the whole 1.5 miles (except at junctions) there was what you call a 'ghost island'

Was it a dual carriageway ?


I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Legal definition required - CMark {P}
What about a piece of road I know, now one lane each way separated by a large central reservation (with trees etc).

It used to be one of those short sections of "dual carriageway" placed on a old fashioned trunk road to allow safer overtaking of slower traffic. Two years ago they "converted" the two lanes each way into one (slightly wider) single lane each way and "hatched off" the now unused extra width with road markings (solid line border).

NSL is posted but is the limit 60 or 70 (as it used to be)? 60, I reckon.
Legal definition required - Dwight Van Driver
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Schedule 6 that deals with Speed restrictions, Part 1V

'dual carriageway road' - means a road part of which consists of a central reservation to separate a carriageway to be used by vehicles proceeding in one direction from a carriageway to be used by vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction

So from that 70 mph. There is no mention as to how many traffic lanes there should be on each section.

They confuse us so that the legal profession can earn a decent living and make traffic Policemean grow old before their time.

DVD
Legal definition required - Flat in Fifth
I'd agree with DVD answer which I assume refers to CMArk's road, ie that is a dual therefore 70.

As for borasport's road I would say 60 but it does lead one open to have to understand the definition of central reservation as outlined in the first post this thread.

Re borasports question have I found an answer.

Thanks to DVD's efforts on and off site it leads us to have to consider what is meant by a "carriageway" "land" and "traffic island."

As far as I can see there are a host of complicated recommendations and rules.

For example for a road classed as Rural D2AP [1] the DMRB gives the following values. [2]

N/S Verge 3.50m desired
N/S Hardstrip 1.00m fixed
N/S Harshoulder N/A
Carriageway 7.30m fixed
O/S Hardstrip 1.00m fixed
O/S Verge N/A
Central Reserve 4.50m desired

[1] Dual 2 lane all purpose (ie not motorway)
[2] fixed appear to be minimums, desired is merely a guideline not mandatory.

There are other figures for Rural D3AP (ie 3lane) same for Urban versions of the same, duplicated for with and without footways and so on until your brain explodes as most of the values are different.

Quite frankly there is so much guff here that its clearly impossible to expect anyone, including our wonderful traffic police, to suss out the detail if something qualifies as a dual or not. As someone questioned above, I forget who it was sorry, what about junctions, breaks in the reservation etc etc.

Hence the belief that there must be a simple definition somewhere.

In my humble opinion so far the simple definitions found leave questions unanswered.

Next time I unearth a copy of Butterworth's I'll take a look in there as I find it usually explains stuff fairly clearly.
Legal definition required - Flat in Fifth
One more thing Borasport.

Was interested that in your first post you, quite rightly in my opinion, were not too impressed with people who didn't know the proper speed limits on an NSL dual or single carriageway.

Yet in your second post find that when you really start looking it is amazing how many anomalies you find is it not?

Funnily enough one of the characters allegedly got a ticket because he thought a road similar to the one you describe with two lanes in each direction was a 70. To be objective I am unclear however what the central markings were in that case.

However the way I look at the ghost island with solid lines is that its just like a normal road with double white lines down the middle, just that they are a bit wider spaced than normal.


OK I'll go and get my anorak!
Legal definition required - borasport20
Fif
thanks for the response
it does seem that an easy question is not easily answered.

As you say, i am not impressed by people who didn't know the proper speed limit, and that then depends on knowing if the road IS a dual carriageway, and while I might be an old fashioned geezer who thinks you should hold your hands up when you get nicked, I would have a great deal of sympathy with anybody nicked for doing less that seventy on such a road

you live and learn (or not, as the case may be)
I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Legal definition required - SR
Isn't the word "reservation" an indication that the central area has to be separate and possibly that it has to be physically separated to prevent vehicles using it - i.e. kerbing, barriers, etc.

I would tend to treat roads with a central area defined by lines and hatched markings as single carriageway with a wide "double white lines" area - therefore NSL is 60.

Not saying it's a correct assumption, just the way I treat it.
Legal definition required - hxj
If I remember correctly, which cannot be guaranteed, the A556 between the M6 and M56 SW of Manchester is speed marked 60 in places where it is a four lane road, two in each direction, with just double white lines running down the middle.

Clearly someone thinks that NSL signs would result in speeds of 70 so maybe no one really knows?

Legal definition required - Flat in Fifth
If I remember correctly, which cannot be guaranteed, the A556 between
the M6 and M56 SW of Manchester is speed marked 60
in places where it is a four lane road, two in
each direction, with just double white lines running down the middle.
Clearly someone thinks that NSL signs would result in speeds of
70 so maybe no one really knows?


Actually there is also a rash of roads appearing which are clearly duals with 70 signs.

Legal definition required - hxj
Not come across one of those yet.

Went along the A47 from Leicester this week to where it meets the A1 just outside Peterborough. You arrive on nornal two lane NSL road and then hit a short piece of dual carriageway with 60 signs. However there is only one lane in either direction.

I suspect as I said earlier that no one really knows what the answer is. Not least the general public.

Was doing about 70 on the A43 from Northampton to Oxford when a nice flash Merc overtook at about 75 or so. I pulled out to overtake a van in front of me and then had to brake sharply as the Merc saw the camera and decided to go through it at 50.

Th van driver carrying on at 70 looked very amused as he steamed past us both in the inside lane.



Legal definition required - CMark {P}
DVD and FiF, thanks! Every now and then something comes along to dislodge a long-held view. And this is one of them. I love the BR! It can surprise, delight, inform, amuse and fire the passions. (It can also disappoint - but that is another thread!)
I hope you guys had a good weekend!
Legal definition required - Flat in Fifth
Just to keep you up to date before I get on with the list of jobs Mrs FiF handed out before disappearing out to the shop this morning. :(

Consulted various info sources usually been reliable in the past, Butterworth's, Blackstones etc etc nothing helpful there.

So gone to the horse's mouth.

Highways Agency: answer? Pass!
I take that reply to mean they don't know the answer.
(tongue in cheek)
Therefore does that mean the Agency responsible for maintaining or operating our roads really doesn't know how to recognise a dual carriageway when it sees one?

Anyway the question is currently lost in the Dept. of Transport voice mail system.
The particular policy dept. doesn't have an email address!
Give me strength!
Legal definition required - HisHonour {P}
Guidance to Magistrates in 1985:

A dual-carriageway is a highway with a minimum of two lanes in each direction separated by a more or less continuous physical barrier preventing traffic on one carriageway from entering the other.


Note - this is guidance only and does not lay down a legal definition but at least it shows what the `lord Chancellor thought 18 year ago!
Legal definition required - Cliff Pope
Guidance to Magistrates in 1985:
A dual-carriageway is a highway with a minimum of two lanes
in each direction separated by a more or less continuous physical
barrier preventing traffic on one carriageway from entering the other.


Yes, but does the act of building the barrier automatically increase the speed limit from 60 to 70? If there is no sign saying "Dual carriageway", is it legally a DC?
Is the converse of the magistrates' definition true? ie "a more or less continuous physical barrier ...... is a dual carriageway"
Final answer? - Flat in Fifth
Right I think this as far as we are going to get with this one.

Had a nice conversation with a very helpful and knowledgeable chap from Road Policy Unit DfT, somehow connected with office of the Deputy PM, old street pugilist 2 Jags himself. Suspect it would be difficult to go much higher with this one.

It appears that we have already discovered and discussed the existing legislation in place covering dual carriageways in this thread.

For those unwilling to scroll back up to the top the salient points are as follows.

Traffic Signs and General Directions Regulations 2002

(available here >> www.tinyurl.com/pk0j )

say the following

Interpretation - general
4. In these Regulations unless the context otherwise requires -

"dual carriageway road" means a road which comprises a central reservation and "all-purpose dual carriageway road" means a dual carriageway road which is not a motorway;

and

"central reservation" means -

(a) any land between the carriageways of a road comprising two carriageways; or

(b) any permanent work (other than a traffic island) in the carriageway of a road,

which separates the carriageway or, as the case may be, the part of the carriageway which is to be used by traffic moving in one direction from the carriageway or part of the carriageway which is to be used (whether at all times or at particular times only) by traffic moving in the other direction;


Plus the part of the RTRA 1984 which deal with speed limits says

"2)Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Schedule 6 Part 1V
'dual carriageway road' - means a road part of which consists of a central reservation to seperate a carriageway to be used by vehicles proceeding in one direction from a carriageway to be used by vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction"


The Act doesn't define central reservation so back to TS & G D.'

So now to answer as best possible some of the questions which have popped up in the thread. Some of these are my interpretations and summary of a fairly complicated and detailed conversation.

A road with a ghost island surrounded by solid white lines is definitely classed as a single NOT a dual.

It is considered that that the central reserve needs to be
a "construction" or separate land as opposed to white paint on a continuous stretch of tarmac.

What this means is that a central reserve consisting simply of grass is quite OK but its better if the edge of the carriageway (the bit you drive on) is defined by kerbs or some sort of edging strip.

It seems that the central reserve needs to be clearly physically different from the carriageway surface, and if not then kerbs / edging strip should be in place. For example a tarmac/flagged island would need to have kerbs in place. A simple grass reserves might not is how I read the situation. My interpretation.

FiF Note on this last point re a wholly central grass reserve. Just in case any jokers get ideas this does exclude those nice bits of unclassified rural 3 ply with a grass strip growing up through the middle of the tarmac!! ;-)

Limit signs, eg as in dual ahead, dual begins, dual ends and so on are not actually legally necessary but considering the nature of the discussion generally thought to be a good thing.

Now where a traffic island becomes a central reserve and vice versa is a bit of a moot point.

A traffic island is considered to be a "short" construction but no real definition of short except in DMRB which as we know is not mandatory in all respects. So no real answer to Cliff's question regarding more or less continuous barriers and breaks in the barriers for junctions etc. Seems common sense will have to prevail here.

Finally! All the duals appearing with 70 signs and singles with 60 signs as opposed to NSL are probably illegal as it was considered that the correct sign would be an NSL sign.

There was a caveat to this comment that the detail of TS&GDR needed to be checked and "it's not the lightest or simplest of
documents to wade through". Can say that again buster!

It was suggested that this might be due to some areas having difficulty with people knowing what the correct limit really is, and trying to make it clear to drivers.

However whilst that might be well intentioned these signs could be contrary to the regulations and thus technically illegal.

As they say at the end of the best cartoons.

"That's All Folks"

closing credits:

Special Thanks to person @ DfT and DVD for off-site help with this.






Final answer? - borasport20
Thanks for the hard work boys

don't know if i'm any the wiser apart from the bit in bold.

By the way, the road about which I enquired in this thread is now just about to be subject to a speed limit reduction and a host of 'traffic frustration' measures


Bora - what Bora ?
 

Value my car