OS research shows roads would cover area the size of Lancashire

Highways Reporters

If all the roads and motorways in Great Britain were grouped together into one landmass, there would be more than enough to cover an area the size of Lancashire. That’s according to research carried out by Ordnance Survey’s consultancy and technical services team.

The team, who work with one of the largest geographic databases in the world that is updated over 10,000 times a day, has also worked out that if you drove non-stop, day and night, the entire length of our road network, all 215,490 miles of it, and you travelled at an average speed of 40mph, it will take you 224 and a half days.

If you were to attempt this at London’s average speed of 9mph it would take you almost two years and nine months to travel every road in Great Britain. In a driverless car, which has an average speed of 11mph, the journey would take just under 2 years and 3 months.

Ron Andrews, spokesperson for Ordnance Survey, said: “We make over 10,000 changes a day to the geographic database of Great Britain and are looking forward to recording the new roads and the changes to existing ones that are planned.”

Britain only needs to add another 5,363 miles to its road infrastructure to have enough to reach up to the moon when it is at its closest on its elliptical orbit.

Total Length of roads (by type)

Road TypeTotal Length (km)
A Road46,604.77
B Road29,866.92
Minor Road266,733.00



Length of roads, by top 10 counties (including a split, by road types):

Top Ten Counties, for ALL roads
RankNameTotal Length (km)
1Greater London Authority12,684.38
5Powys - Powys5,199.55
8Dumfries and Galloway4,604.49
10Sir Gaerfyrddin - Carmarthenshire3,371.29
Top Ten Counties, for Motorways only
RankNameTotal Length (km)
1Leeds District (B)76.76
2South Gloucestershire72.27
3South Lanarkshire71.89
4Dumfries and Galloway62.07
5Greater London Authority60.81
6Doncaster District (B)60.23
7Glasgow City49.17
8Cheshire East (B)46.26
9West Berkshire45.31
10North Lanarkshire40.07
Top Ten Counties, for A-Roads only
RankNameTotal Length (km)
2Greater London Authority1,752.80
4Argyll and Bute783.62
5Dumfries and Galloway772.66
8Powys - Powys655.25
9Scottish Borders616.65
10Perth and Kinross611.50
Top Ten Counties, for B-Roads and Minor Roads only
RankNameTotal Length (km)
1Greater London Authority10,870.76
5Powys - Powys4,544.30
8Dumfries and Galloway3,769.76
10Sir Gaerfyrddin - Carmarthenshire2,977.63

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