Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/B roads in the United Kingdom

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For a prior related policy consensus discussion, see Wikipedia:Deletion policy/Roads and streets.

I'm getting a little fed up with VfD being clogged with B road articles, and feel that this would be better argued out in a consensus page.

As far as I see it, argument boils down to the following:

  • Keep - these are nationally designated roads, and the articles provide information on the British roading network. Some of these roads are notable other than by means of their designation, and all of them are worthy of articles. Wikipedia is not paper, we're not wasting pixels here.
  • Delete - they're just country roads. The information about them can be merged into the articles on the places they run through. Wikipedia is not an atlas.
  • Merge - there should, at the very least, be a list (or several lists) of the B road designations in the UK.
  • Keep the notable ones, delete the rest - some are notable, yes, but most are not. Why keep the dross? (This may or may not accompany a merge into lists)

I welcome anyone who has taken part in the individual VfDs to contribute their thoughts to this subject below. Grutness...wha? 02:01, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Readers that are unfamiliar with the subject might wish to consult Great Britain road numbering scheme. Pilatus 11:39, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Articles listed at VFD[edit]

Arguments for "Keep"[edit]

  • Atlases are not always up-to-date or correct.
  • These roads are numbered at the national level and posted.
  • There seems to be no resource online that lists all the B roads.
  • Like schools, roads are verifiable and locally important. In many cases, they play or have played important roles in local development. A comprehensive treatment of a region is impossible without a comprehensive treatment of its roads.this argument by User:Visviva -- forgot to sign
    • Comment. These minor roads probably played little role in the development of communities in Britain, since many settlements in Britain predate them by centuries. A Roads, and the train network, may have played a role in how some of these communities grew from small villages to important towns (like Crewe) but B roads have few such claims. Sabine's Sunbird 15:01, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
      • This is simply incorrect. Most A roads are of relatively recent construction, whereas many B roads are historically important trunk roads, once designated A roads, that have been downgraded due to construction of a new A road. For instance, part of the old A40 used to run on what are now the B4521, A477 and B4314. The B6265 was formerly part of the A66. A good part of the old A166 is now the B1414. A138 -> B1456, A145 -> B1062, part of the old A211 is now designated the B2210, A241 -> A284 and so on. --Tony SidawayTalk 16:49, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
      • I don't live in Britain, but I used to read a lot of British urban planning literature (long story)... anyway, it's my understanding that demographic and residential patterns in the UK have changed quite a lot in the past century, and that roads have contributed to these changes in many ways. So even recently-constructed roads may have notable aspects. -- Visviva 04:34, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry to come along months later and add "and another thing", but: the history of the road network in Britain is not homogeneous. There are a lot of roads which started as Saxon or Roman roads, got bigger over time, were classified as A roads, and then got reclassified as lesser A roads or B roads when new roads were built. You can't say that a given road is or is not significant based solely on its number. In some cases a "B" classification is an administrative convenience, for signposting or for apportioning maintenance responsibility. Should there be an article on the A1081? Or should it be the A5, since it's part of the old A5? Or should it be Watling Street since it follows the route of the old Roman road? Road numbers change arbitrarily along the length of a single road, and are not fixed over time, they are no indication of the local, national or historical significance of the road and any system of criteria based solely on the road number is plain silly. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 11:51, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Keep every road in Britain has a story to tell, I could dash off an article right now on the B road nearest my house, how it was once a significant coach road from London to the coast, how William the Conqueror marched along it, the Saxon manors and cattle wharfs it linked and the eighteenth century gang of brigands that frequented it. It has no other name for its entire length beyond the one a civil servant gave it so what else can it be called? You people got no encyclopaedia game. adamsan 19:53, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Then by all means write it. The point is that the article shouldn't be written unless the story that can be told about it is actually included in the article. - Mgm|(talk) 09:06, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
      • But if the consensus turns out that B Roads "just aren't interesting" or whatever the people below have said, where's the inducement for me to write about it if it immediately gets flagged for speedy on the basis of this discussion? Despite their utilitarian names these roads aren't just tarmac; they do have cultural, social and historical significance. Can we not let the articles stay and wait for them to grow? adamsan 12:43, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
      • Keep. As per Tony Sidaway, may I add that also some major UK trunk roads such as the A38 in south west England, and A8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh, became B roads in many places. Besides that, many people like their little bit of home on Wikipedia. Keeno 20:30, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
These should be kept. For most of these roads, there are enough secondary sources available to write reasonable encyclopedia articles. With regards to arguments on how many of them there are, 9,000 isn't a lot compared with the 700,000 articles in total we now have, and there's no active campaign to create articles on them all, just someone creating an article here and there. JYolkowski // talk 23:37, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with the contention that there are enough sources around to build an encyclopaedic article on. An urban B-road in Britain is much like 56th Street in character, a rural B-road is a backroad designed to carry only a small volume of traffic. Pilatus 09:45, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
I tend to disagree. Even rural roads without any historical merit likely have a large amount of information documented about them in newspapers, travel guides, and the like. JYolkowski // talk 00:57, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

- We should just keep them. It doesn't matter about having a few articles that aren't used too often. --Chazz88 22:21, 15 October 2005 (UTC) (MOVED ~~)

  • Keep I say keep all numbered roads and notable named roads.Gateman1997 19:47, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Arguments for "Delete"[edit]

  • Delete. These are just stretches of highway. In every case, the articles make no claim to notability beyond the fact that the roads connect two different places. All the information contained in these numerous articles could be easily represented on a map. There are 392,931 km of roads in the UK, 4,180,053 km in the US. If each road is an average of 40 km, we would need approximately 100,000 articles, an appreciable fraction of the total number of Wiki articles to date, with no appriciable increase in usefulness or knowledge. Sdedeo 04:52, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. Whils there are potentially 'only' 9,000 B roads in the UK, none of them are notable. B roads tend to just be either country lanes, or high streets. If they were even vaguely important to the British transport system as a whole, they'd be A roads (which aren't notable either, particularly). If the road itself is notable (ie, Regent Street in London) and happens to have a B-number designation, then that could be mentioned in its article. Being a B road does not in itself make a road encyclopaedic, no matter how verifiable it is. In effect, adding your loacl roads to wikipedia regardless of their suitability for an encyclopaedia is a form of vanity. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate dumping pit for pointless information, contrary to what some prominent 'keep' voters on VfD may believe. Proto t c 09:25, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. I can't think of any notable B roads in the UK. In fact I couldn't name any of the B roads around where I live off the top of my head, they really aren't major routes. If there are notable roads that happen to be B roads, they probably have far more well known names that should be redirected to. the wub "?/!" 12:12, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete - They're just too numerous and non-notable. They don't carry large swathes of traffic, even some of the large digit A roads are kinda none notable, but B roads are even more piddling. Unless the road has some historical significance or have some horrendous accident happen there in which everyone within a 5 mile radius died, then just leave them out. - Hahnchen 13:31, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete all of them. I was going to put my vote in the keep notable, delete rest on the off chance that one of them is notable for reasons beyond being a road, but to be honest I trust Wikipedia enough that should the situation arise it's notability will lead to it's being kept anyway. In any event my reasoning is per above. The level of detail in this case is simply too fine for an encyclopedia. A coaser level of detail is not a bad thing in this instance. Sabine's Sunbird 13:55, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. I too was more of the 'Keep notable, delete the rest' POV initially but having thought about it I cannot think of a single reason why a B road should be notable as such. There could be an argument to say 'WP has entries for A1 road, A2 road and so on, so why not B1223 road? However where does this stop? Taken to its logical conclusion we could have a basis for including Acacia Drive as "notable" (after all, it's a road off the B1066), then the garden path at No. 26 Acacia Drive (which is off Acacia Drive]]. I suggest this has to stop somewhere, and "no B roads unless they are otherwise notable" should be that point. An article for a B road which has something notable happen on it should be a redirect to whatever the notable event was. Tonywalton 15:13, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • If the garden path at 26 Acacia Drive had a national roading classification, it would be very notable indeed, and definitely worth an article! Grutness...wha? 03:56, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. A road is not notable because it is a road. There is more to notability than "being made of something hard and cars drive on you". The sheer abundance of these roads and the fact that for 99.9% of them there is absolutely nothing interesting to say about them tells me that we should get rid of the things. Consider, also, that keeping these B-roads opens up a further avalanche of similar roads from other countries in the world, which would be an unpleasant cluttering of uninteresting and trivial stubs. Lord Bob 19:25, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
  • delete them all. Most of A-roads aren't interesting enough for an article. --Tim Pope 19:38, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
You have a point there. Looking at the 'UK Roads category' there seems to be a lot of "this road starts at A, goes to B, C and D, bypassing E, and ends up at F" A road cruft there as well. Perhaps this discussion should be widened to "numbered roads in the UK" rather than just B roads. Maybe any numbered road with a three-or-more digit number, unless notability is established rather than just stated (such as A720 road) , should be excluded? Tonywalton Pentacle 1.svg | Talk 22:16, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete they are supremely uninteresting, nn and ne. Just occasionally there is somethign special about them in which case they can be kept if they have genuine standalone interest or mentioned in the relevant related article if that is how they come to note. But delete-unless-proven-otherwise. -Splash 20:21, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete—Wikipedia is not an atlas, almanac, general knowledge database, or personal website. Wikipedia documents only notable persons, bands, movies, and buildings. It should document only notable roads as well and under whatever name they are best known by. --Tysto 05:07, 2005 August 13 (UTC)
  • Delete — A road is not notable just because it is a road any more than a building is notable because it is a building. The Normalville strip mall is not the Duomo in Firenze. The duomo may deserve an article, the Normalville strip mall does not. The same applies for roads. I don't think the "keep only if notable" votes below are really saying anything — if the road is notable, then of course it should stay. Its article will assert notability, and that's how it will be judged. But the question is whether B-roads (and the like) should be in Wikipedia if there is not some assertion of notability beyond their road-ness. To me, the answer is clear: garbage in Wikipedia clutters up the namespace and dilutes the abiilty of users to find the information they really need. Nuke these with extreme prejudice. Nandesuka 05:27, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. It seems some users are attempting to write a few hundred articles that, when all read together, vaguely describe a map. There is a reason why maps are not prose; I think the idea of a picture being worth a thousand words comes to mind. Maybe there should be a wikiatlas, though I imagine most road maps are under copyright. Anyway, any roads that are notable and happen to be B-roads can have an article. I bet there are few. -R. fiend 15:17, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. Some good argumentation all over. Seems like a lot of road cruft. /Peter Isotalo 04:23, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete I cannot see any circumstance when an article about a B road would not be better under another title. If anyone else can, do say. These articles should be deleted and policy made to prevent their recreation. Naturenet | Talk 16:14, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete One of the arguments for keeping them is that there is no national resource currently which lists them all - firstly is there a need to have a list of the "B" roads, secondly if there is a need, then surely that resource should be provided by the Department of Transport, the authority which grants the "B" road numbers in the first place. The road outside my house has a "B" number - however it does not merit an entry in Wikipedia. If they need to be listed, then should be listed in general geographical articles about places on those "B" roads.
  • Delete I agree with most of the sentiments posted in favour of elimination. Dottore So 06:10, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete, a hundred of road articles are still less comprehensive, less accessible and less organized than a single image containing a map. Wikipedia can be a roadmap because that is useful information, but then we should simply show the roadmap since that's the most convenient way of accessing information. Radiant_>|< 11:50, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. If something notable (such as the vehicular manslaughter of a famous person, or first contact with Martians) was to occur on a minor road, I still would not think that the road was worthy of its own article; only a mention in the First contact with Martians article. WP:NOT a road atlas, nor should it be; a map will always be better than a text description. Fernando Rizo T/C 18:03, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. The B road articles are basically an attempt to write a road atlas in prose, which won't be of particular use to anyone. I agree with User:Radiant!. --Metropolitan90 04:18, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete, I agree with the sentiments already expressed. Describing the location of roads in prose isn't helpful to people looking up such information and if there's not any info about the road apart from its existence it's not worthy of an article. Also, unless the road is the location of numerous notable places and events, I'd prefer just mentioning them in the article on the place or event instead of creating yet another article. - Mgm|(talk) 09:04, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. Keep that garbage out of Wikipedia. I had no idea the UK government was so screwed up (apart from the notorious mess over at NHS). Now I'm so glad I was born in the U.S., where the government is intelligent enough to NOT manage road numbering for such unimportant roads at the national level (we delegate numbering for local roads to states and counties). This is why Americans love federalism! --Coolcaesar 09:04, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. For all the above reasons. William Avery 07:19, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Given the answers to my questions down below, and the United Kingdom's degree of centralization, I'm inclined to think that B roads in the United Kingdom are, with few exceptions, likely to be non-notable and excluded by WP:NOT 1.7. The Literate Engineer 06:07, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

- Comment moved to relevant area --~~

Arguments for "Merge and/or Listify"[edit]

  • Merge into one or more articles - 9,000 articles, all of which say "B-such-and-such is a minor road from A to C via B" does not a Wikipedia maketh. The same information can be placed into a list or series of lists about the B-roads. -- Francs2000 | Talk 14:00, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Who is going to write this list of several thousand entries and who is willing to read it? People will use an atlas to find out what villages any B-road runs between. Pilatus 17:30, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
      • If I lived in the UK I'd help write it. I helped a friend with Rhode Island State Highways. --SPUI (talk) 20:21, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
      • I think the idea here is to agree the principle of what should be done, and worry about the logistics later. That was my approach anyway. -- Francs2000 | Talk 00:52, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
        • No one will ever consult a list to find what villages a given local road runs between. If at all, information about roads belings into the entry on the village, there it will be useful. Pilatus 10:20, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
    • See [1], even the Department for Transport doesn't have a list of all B-roads. And these are not the equivalent of state highways. the wub "?/!" 10:27, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Merge.
Step One: categorize them (geographically, numerically, whatever).
Step Two: lists them with the brief descriptions noted in these articles (map or pic would be nice) & notable ones (ones with something interesting to say) get a brief description and a link to their own article.
Step Three: create a main (disamb) page with a list of the lists (yes, you can even use sub-lists if too long)

This provides detail, comprehensiveness in a user friendly manner while not creating hundreds or thousands of articles or random selections of odd bits of road (like we have now).

-maclean25 21:03, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Merge into regional articles. I similarly recommend the same be done with all other highway articles (that is to say, take all the highways in Wisconsin, for instance, and make one or two big articles). Exceptions, of course, can be made for individually famous highways such as the American Route 66 or Canadian Trans-Canada Hwy. But the vast majority of highways have no notability save for the fact they connects Points A and B. 23skidoo 05:19, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Arguments for "Keep notable ones, delete the rest" (with or without listifying)[edit]

B5405 near Woodseaves
  • Keep some, merge all This is my own choice for this one. Some will definitely be notable enough for articles, as a lot of them are quite notable, and all of them should be listed, although I concede that this would need more than one article. A model like New Zealand State Highway network could be used for the lists. Grutness...wha? 02:35, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
The NZ list seems equivalent to a list of UK motorways. Is there a list of 3rd class NZ roads?Sandpiper 20:05, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
The New Zealand list combines first and second-class roads, plus listing roads which used to be, but are no longer designated second class. "Third class roads" in New Zealand have no national designation, unlike the U.K. - if they did have, there might well be a list of them. Grutness...wha? 01:40, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep notable ones, no list. The average B-road looks much like the image. If something notable can be said about any stretch of road by all means include it; the entry on the B5289 road – a scenic route through the Lake District – passes the bar, I'd say. As a whole, though, B-roads are just to small and too numerous to list all of them. Pilatus 11:39, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • (FWIW, I know what they look like. I may live in NZ now, but I spent much of my childhood in a house beside the B4031) Grutness...wha?
  • I'll go with what Grutness has said on this one - "Keep some, merge all." Articles only for the notable ones, a list for the rest. -- BD2412 talk 13:44, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep some, merge the rest. Note: The vast majority of these are non-notable, but a list doesn't hurt anything and could hypothetically be useful. --Scimitar parley 15:17, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • A list sounds feasible. Nearly all B roads are just roads, and as such very little can be said about them beyond description in unnecessary, spoken-map fashion. Flowerparty talk 17:08, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Having a "consensus" will make it easier for deletionists to get a marginal article deleted. The articles should be assessed on their individual merits the same as other articles. Osomec 14:44, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
  • There doesn't seem to be a terribly compelling reason to delete them, unless they already meet some deletion criteria or other, there seems to be a serious effort to work on these, let's keep them and see what happens. Trollderella 23:51, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete if not specifically notable. From what I can find online, these are comparable to rural routes and city back-roads in the US. They're nationally designated for recordkeeping, not for funding and development. Gazpacho 02:51, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Not sure what "listifying" means. I think probably most B roads are worth documenting somewhere, and Wikipedia is the place where some people have chosen to write some articles about them. I'm pleased about this. It makes Wikipedia more useful and roads less mysterious. --Tony SidawayTalk 01:51, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
    • Listifying - as in "delete the articles, but create one or more lists which cover the tiny amount of information needed from them". If, as suggested, there are several thousand of these roads, it would need more than one list (for example, a short paragraph on each of 250 roads would fill a list article, so 2500 roads would take 10 lists, plus an eleventh page discussing B roads in general and linking to the lists). Grutness...wha? 04:00, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm sorry, It makes ... and roads less mysterious.' WTF? How are minor roads mysterious? They are stretches of tarmack between small villages. Anyone capable of reading an A-Z can master B roads. Sabine's Sunbird 04:38, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep Notable, otherwise not. The road numbering system is such that a major road could be designated as a B road, because from the national perspective through traffic is expected to follow the preferred A route path. Judging from where I live, the A road designations can be quite eccentric. Also, in some parts of the country major roads may be M, with A support, while elsewhere there is a lack of motorways. So if someone is assembling a category of major UK roads, then it may be appropriate to list some B roads. I have no idea how many roads ought to be in the existing category of UK roads, but judging from the number there now, it would not be a big issue to keep some. Having said that, I see little point in a separate article which only says 'road joining X to Y', even if it is an A road. So I would apply the same principle to A and B roads. The New Zealand list of roads joining towns seems quite adequate for any road which is otherwise just a road. Nothing deserves listing independantly just because it has a national road designation. Now, if someone could include information actually describing the quality of the road, scenic value, number of traffic lights, numbers of accidents, then that might be useful to someone.Sandpiper 20:45, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep very notable roads, delete the rest. That would mean a road that has, for example, a historic name, plays at least a footnote role in history, has a superlative feature, and/or a distinction setting it apart from all or almost all other similiar roles. Also, a road that could actually support a full-length article, unpadded by infoboxes, oversized pictures, lists of traffic lights, lists of towns passed through, or the names of intersections. Some of the lists examples seem to be at the level of US county roads, and don't deserve articles under any circumstances. --Calton | Talk 01:40, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • If any are somehow notable, keep them. Murder the rest. No list. Optichan 17:16, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep notable, delete with extreeeeem predjudice the rest.Dejvid 20:33, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep Some merge/list/link the rest. Rich Farmbrough 21:06, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep for those that are notible and cannot easily be named (in which case use the name and a redirect) and make a list for the rest of them (with links to named roads, if they exist). Andreww 11:23, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep, merge or delete depending on the individual road. There is no hard and fast rule linking the number of a road in Britain to its local, national or historical significance. Some villages are centred on an un-numbered road, not a B road which passes through; some B roads are former A roads and of some historical importance - and roads can be reclassified or renumbered almost on a whim in order to persuade traffic to choose different routes or to justify a lower standard of maintenance. Any rule based solely on the numbering scheme is plain silly. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 11:56, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Other options[edit]

General discussion[edit]

  • How many B roads are there? Dozens, hundreds? Fg2 06:17, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
    • The B road system in the UK numbering system is B1234, so there are potentially 10,000. But I don't think there are any 1, 2 or 3 digit ones, and they don't start with 0, so the maximum is 9,000. Whilst maybe not all the numbers are used, a quick play with Autoroute tells me that most of them are (the 10 random numbers I tried all scored a road). And looking at an atlas tells me that there are many, many B roads across the whole of the country. So I'd say there's at least 8,000. I don't know if there's a way to get a more accurate figure. Proto t c 09:17, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • The B9099 runs north from Perth, and there are several three digit ones. However, not all the numbers are used by a long, long way. ISTR that those which started from A roads starting with a 1 also started with a 1 and so on... very few are in the upper section of any thousand, though (numbers like B2980 are rare). I'd say your estimate is extremely high, BTW. I did a quick tally of the county I know best (Northamptonshire - about as average a county as you could get), and there are about 40 B roads in that, many of them shared with neighbouring counties. If every county has about 40 B roads, then you're looking at around 2,000 B roads. Let's face it, using the figures that Sdedeo uses above, there would be a total of about 9000 roads in the UK in total, and that includes motorways, A roads, B roads, undesignated roads and urban/suburban roads. Grutness...wha? 09:33, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
      • There are about 3740 B-roads on the UK mainland, 684 of which are 3-digit B-roads. Some 3-digit B-roads, particularly in the London area or in Scotland were not previously A-roads and were given 3-digit numbers. Some 4-digit B-roads are downgraded A-roads - for instance, the B1174 is the former A1 through Grantham. There is a full list of B-roads (and every other classified road in the UK on SABRE - just click on "Roads List" on the menu bar at the top Richard B 01:00, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Follow-p to my previous comment - I've had a good look around on the web, and amazingly there doesn't seem to be a list of B-roads on the web anywhere, so if we had one it would be unique. Reading between the (double-yellow) lines on several of the sites, my estimate of 2000 looks to be about right (oh, and the three-digit B roads used to be A roads, but had their designation changed). Grutness...wha? 10:16, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
        • A list of B roads? You mean ... a ... map? ;) Proto t c 10:38, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
          • If you think a list is a map, remind me never to ask you to write an atlas! Have a look at New Zealand State Highway network, which I mentioned above. This is what is known as a list - they're quite useful things, I believe. And they don't look much like maps :). Grutness...wha? 12:19, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
            • As Pilatus says just below, there is already such a list. It lists the significant A roads in the UK; this list is a rough equivalent to the New Zealand State Highway network list. B-roads, on the other hand, are minor, minor roads. They are not encyclopedic. Wikipedia is not a travel guide, and even a list of B-roads would be dumb (a list of 2000 minor roads is just plain crazy). Plus, Northants is a relatively non-urban county. Urban counties and boroughs, such as London, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands etc etc would have far, far more than 40 B-roads. I still think the tally would be way higher than 2,000. Proto t c 12:40, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
        • The list of A-roads at Road numbering scheme in Great Britain is the equivalent of the list at New Zealand State Highways, as far as the importance of the roads goes. But a list of B-roads? Those are just too obscure! Pilatus 12:30, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I would agree that there's not more than 9,000 designated roads. But there'd be a good 50,000 undesignated (lanes, suburban streets etc). Maybe more than that (there's probably 10,000 roads in London alone, someone check an A to Z). Proto t c 09:30, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Additionally, does anyone feel like going through all the A road articles and removing the redlinks to various B roads, to stop them being created / recreated? Proto t c 10:07, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  • May I intervene to point out that British road-numbering is an on-going process and that it is entirely possible for a former trunk road (that is a low-number A road) to end up as a B-road if/when a newer throughroute is designed and built, and the A number is reassigned to it. Thus I feel sure that there are parts of the old Great North Road (formerly the A1, and one of the oldest road routes (as opposed to trackways) in the island) which now fall under a B designation, because by-passes have been accorded the A nomenclature. --Simon Cursitor 11:41, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • see my "Follow-p"(sic) above. Grutness...wha? 12:19, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I've been on sections of Route 66 that have reverted to local roads, and I wouldn't consider them encyclopedic as such. An article about a major road can cover its history. Gazpacho 03:36, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Does anyone happen to know (or know how I could figure it out for us) where in the AASHTO functional classification scheme these B-roads would fall if they were in the United States? -The Literate Engineer 21:33, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't know what an "AASHTO functional classification scheme" is, I'm afraid, but this is one take on it from
2.1 How are the roads classified?
There are three different classifications: motorways, A-roads and B-roads. Motorways are grade-separated expressways and have 1, 2 or 3 digit numbers prefixed with 'M'. A-roads are other major routes; they vary from motorway-standard to narrow local roads, and have 1, 2, 3 or 4 digit numbers prefixed with 'A'. B-roads are local routes and have 3 or 4 digit numbers prefixed with 'B'.
I'll try to find out more of an "official" classification Tonywalton 00:27, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
The AASHTO functional classification scheme categorizes roadways according to an urban/rural split and then their function (measured primarily by volume) into groupings such as local roads, collectors, minor arterials, and major arterials. It's used by highway engineers in the U.S.; if I could figure out where in it most B-roads fall, it would help me since nothing short of an urban minor arterial, at a minimum, is likely to deserve an article, as far as U.S. roads go. The Literate Engineer 01:15, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
In Britain, urban areas are as a rule more densely built that in the US, so the urban/rural dichotomy is quite meaningless there. Traffic is carried by A-roads; B-roads are minor side roads. Do take a look at the B5405 picture on this page, it's quite representative. Pilatus 10:26, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
The picture is clearly of a rural road. Rural roads are generally not interesting. Secretlondon 14:18, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
As the US has 10 times the number of roads compared to the UK (by mileage), I don't think most of the B-roads in the UK would even warrant a numeric designation in the US. The majority of them are either small country lanes, sometimes not even wide enough for two cars to pass, or short connecting roads between a village / small town and a slightly larger road. Virtually none ofthem would be more than one lane in either direction. I don't know if any of that info helps. Proto t c 22:09, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
B roads in cities are different from B roads in rural areas I think. Random country roads are not interesting. Regent Street is interesting. 90%+ of B roads will be of no interest. A blanket policy may lead to us losing the 10% that are of interest. Secretlondon 14:18, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
Regent Street is listed under Regent Street, not under B-something-or-other. The Wub said it above: any notable B-road, especially an urban road, will have its proper name that it's known for. 18:31, 13 August 2005 (UTC) Pilatus 18:37, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I just thought of something. Given that the degree of centralization in the United Kingdom is greater than in the United States, does being "numbered at the national level" as mentioned up above in the keep arguments have as much import as it does with the U.S. national highway system? The Literate Engineer 20:51, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I think any road numbered at the state level in the U.S. should be fine, except for several states that number every rural road, even dead ends and streets in residential developments. In those cases they are on a lower level, below primary state roads. C (and D?) roads in the UK would be on that level, and I agree that those are unnecessary. --SPUI (talk) 23:59, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
Oddly 'C' roads might be more notable. A 'C' classification is just a sort of internal numbering scheme, used by local authorities and so on for things like "we're closing such-and-such road for resurfacing". A 'C' number shouldn't appear on road signs but occasionally, perhaps due to clerical error, does: Whether the sighting of a C road on a road sign is notable, as opposed to "of passing interest", is debatable, I suppose. If it came to a VfD on a verifiably-sighted C road I'd probably vote for 'keep'. We don't nationally go down to "D" roads though the classification is sometimes used internally by local authorities; in US terms these would probably be called "the front yard". Some local authorities also have a rather oxymoronic class of "U" ("unclassified") roads. Tonywalton Pentacle 1.svg | Talk 22:45, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I was thinking C roads in general, not signed C roads. --SPUI (talk) 09:41, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Question: If a road article contained information that would never be included on a map, would people be less inclined to delete it? For instance, information about the road's history as a road, or history of the number designation, or the road's role in local affair (facilitating the development of region X). - Visviva 03:19, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
That's basically "keep the notable ones", isn't it? Tonywalton 15:19, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
Any road that is old enough to have had a lasting impact will have an old name assosiated with it (like the Fosse Way). Newer B Roads are super unlikley to have anything more than marginal impacts on local history. Sabine's Sunbird 15:45, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Personally I'm in the "delete" camp, on the grounds that if a B road is somehow notable it will be notable for something else, not as a B road per se. If it's notable as Oxford Street, it's Oxford Street that's notable, not the B6375 (yes, I made that number up). If it's notable for being the site of the Penge Bungalow Murders it's the murders that are notable, not the B268. If it's notable for being the first road made by some new road-building technique then similarly. I can see a very weak case for a redirect in very occasional cases, but honestly, who would look up "B268" when they wanted to find "Penge Bungalow Murders"? Tonywalton 17:22, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
  • 10,000 roads? Piddling. Let's keep every one that gets a reasonable stub. --Tony SidawayTalk 01:52, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Exactly what do you mean with "reasonable"? That is actually the point and is what we are trying to get a consensus about. Pilatus 22:47, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
And is it the argument that's piddling or the roads? Please be a little clearer Tonywalton Pentacle 1.svg | Talk 23:36, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't think we'll get consensus on what is a reasonable stub. I'd say a reasonable stub on a B road is one that correctly identifies the road, enabling the article to be expanded. Others may have far more stringent definitions or "reasonable" here. I can foresee this going the same way schools did, with the deletion advocates slowly being fought to a standstill and no hope of consensus in the meantime. --Tony SidawayTalk 20:00, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment - just to point out something that may be causing confusion, the word "highway" in the UK refers to any road and even footpaths (see Highway#Nomenclature) as opposed to a major road as it is used in the US. the wub "?/!" 21:23, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
It's also worth noting that B roads are not footpaths! Andreww 11:16, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Problem with the design of this discussion[edit]

This is titled as a consensus page, but really that isn't what's going to happen. A number of people will take one view, a number of people will take another, they've got their own little designated areas into which to put their opinions, and so already it's turned into a poll. You can't make consensus with a poll--they're only useful for detecting if a consensus does not exist (and clearly it doesn't). I suggest we start again and instead of turning it into a poll we just discuss what problems, if any, are caused by the current state of affairs, and how such problems, should they exist, would best be solved. --Tony SidawayTalk 17:15, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm absolutely delighted to see you say this, Tony. When we were discussing clitoris, you insisted that a majority in a poll was a consensus. Now you have changed your mind and say that polls cannot indicate a consensus (which was my position then, of course). Isn't it peculiar how a majority is a consensus when you are a member of the majority, but is not when you are not. Keep up the good work, Tony. Clair de Lune 08:36, 24 August 2005 (UTC) (previously Dr Zen but tickled by brazen hypocrisy under any name and waiting excitedly to see how you try to wriggle your way out of it -- mother, fetch the popcorn!)
My fault - first time I'd tried to make one of these pages. It just seemed more logical to have the debate here than in every individual vfd entry. Any improvements that you or anyone else can make to this page will be welcome! Grutness...wha? 01:32, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
Tony, there is overwhelming consensus here against including B-road stubs. From your contribution to the discussion and your votes it's obvious you have an agenda and would like to re-open the discussion, trying to fish for an outcome that you like better. DON'T FEED THE TROLL, NOTHING TO SEE HERE, EVERYBODY MOVE ALONG! Pilatus 11:58, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
My rough count indicates 16 arguments for delete and 13 for merge. I think you need to look up the definitions of "overwhelming" and "consensus". Grutness...wha? 00:31, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
If you truly believe there's an overwhelming consensus that all road stubs should be deleted from Wikipedia, I suggest that you now approach a friendly sysop and ask him to do so forthwith. Please don't make personal attacks.
No, we've got no consensus and we're unlikely to have one because of the design of this page. Attacking people who point this out won't change the current situation to consensus. --Tony SidawayTalk 13:21, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
  • There is an obvious emergent consensus here. Consensus is not the same as unanimity, and it's a rather cheap shot to declare something "non-consensual" simply because you disagree with it. Of course Pilatus's remark that Tony is a troll isn't particularly friendly, but neither is Tony's remark that we should simply ignore everything that people have said here and start over. If you two calm down a bit, we're doing fine here. Radiant_>|< 11:54, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
    • There's no consensus, only bullshit. Transportation crufters need to look out for each other. --SPUI (talk) 16:05, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
  • It is interesting that Tony seems to be applying the exact opposite of the argument he uses on WP:SCHOOLS, where there is (unfotunately) a consensus in favour of 'keep', which he interprets as a categorical and overwhelming policy decision to retain all worthless nn school stubs. Proto t c 12:31, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I'll go along with Radiant's suggestion that there's an emerging consensus. Proto you have it wrong. There is as yet no consensus on schools, though possibly one is emerging, and your other comment seems to be a misinterpretation of my statements to the effect that, since late April, there have been over 150 attempts to delete school articles on VfD, but only a handful of articles have been deleted (one copyright violation, an infant school alumni association, two preschools, plus a MLM ploy and various other fringe articles). It is a feature of Wikipedia's inbuilt inclusionist bias that a consensus is required to delete an article, thus Wikipedia has overwhelmingly kept school articles and there is no prospect of a change to this in the near future. --Tony SidawayTalk 17:20, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
  • I think we can see this as a consensus if we squint a bit. I suggest that in practise the facts will prove to be very different. Don't expect to go around speedying road articles any time in the near future. --Tony SidawayTalk 17:14, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Even if it doesn't make speedy deletes possible, it provides a clear basis for rejecting the raft of pointless street articles that people seem intent on authoring. Can we please apply the consensus to similar roads elsewhere? It is going to be tedious to an extreme to have to go through a similar debate about every single country's road network. Dottore So 18:31, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
    • I see the problem that readers from different countries may not be able to gauge the size and importance of a partiular road just from its number. Pilatus 08:56, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
    • It might be nice for your side if the consensus applied to other countries, but there's already consensus the other way in many areas. See Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Ontario provincial highway 140 and Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Washington State Route 900, particularly the votes that any state/provincial highway is notable. --SPUI (talk) 19:41, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
      • However B roads are more like Ladner Trunk Road, currently in VfD, except at least that has notable features like traffic lights, which many (possibly most) B roads don't. Tonywalton Pentacle 1.svg | Talk 16:27, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
      • One problem is that people aren't necessarily qualified to judge these issues consistently. I live in the UK, and I have a reasonable idea of what the B683 is like - enough to know that (in my opinion) we don't need an article on it. But I have no idea whether it's comparable to a US state route or a Canadian provincial highway. My guess would be that UK B-roads are somewhat more minor - but I don't know for sure, which is why I'm contributing on this one and leaving those who live there to deal with Canadian and US roads. OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 08:43, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
        • I agree with what you've said here, I think some none-UK residents have it confused to what a B road actually entails, and have compared them to state highways in the US. Looking over Google maps, I see that there are some major state highways that serve as trunk routes. For B roads, this is NOT the case. To be honest, I feel that most 4 digit A roads do not warrant a wikipedia entry, but with this amount of argument over B roads, I doubt we'll be able to delete any lesser A Roads when they get made. - Hahnchen 00:18, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
        • I also strongly agree with this. the wub "?/!" 07:39, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
  • How are we supposed to reach a consensus without something approaching a general vote? Does anyone expect a significant number of people to change their minds about whether or not to include every road on the planet? Inclusionists never want a consensus on anything other than complete nonsense because the default is always to keep. --Tysto 01:25, 2005 August 24 (UTC)
    • It may do. Consensus doesn't mean unanimity, and it's clear that many people will not change their vote. But having the arguments laid out for all to see - and away from cluttering up vfd - is a way of presenting all sides of the argument in ways that some posters may not ahve considered. As it is, things seem to have boiled down already into two clear camps. I think only one person has come out in favour of keeping all the articles. Outright deletion and merging/listing seem to be the only two things most people are considering. That is a distinct step forward, and supports Radiant's suggestion that consensus of a form is emerging. I've nailed my colours to the mast further up the page, so I'm in no position to make the call, but given that wikipedia policy is inclusion in cases where opinions appear to be close to equal, it seems to me that merging and listifying is likely to end up the more viable option. Having said that, I'm prepared to wait longer to see what emerges from this debate. Grutness...wha? 01:53, 24 August 2005 (UTC)


  • Keep: 2
  • Delete (often with 'unless very notable' as a disclaimer): 20
  • Merge/listify: 3
  • Other votes -
    • Keep only notable roads, merge the rest: 3

Proto t c 12:51, 23 August 2005 (UTC)]

Interesting. I get a completely different count to that:

  • Keep: 3
  • Delete all - no disclaimers: 18
  • Merge/listify only - no separate articles: 3
  • Keep notable, merge/listify/delete others: 10
The problem is that a lot of the comments are not in the sections with the appropriate heading (Trollderella's "keep" comment, for example). However, there was no initial intention of this page being a vote. It's a page for reaching a consensus through laying out the arguments and looking for a way forward - not a straw poll.
Grutness...wha? 10:09, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Those whose comments fell in the last category (keep notable, merge rest) typically added strong disclaimers. "Nearly all B roads are just roads, and as such very little can be said about them", "Nothing deserves listing independently just because it has a national road designation", "[Keep] a road that could actually support a full-length article, unpadded by infoboxes, oversized pictures, lists of traffic lights, lists of towns passed through, or the names of intersections" and so on. Pilatus 14:13, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Since strong articles can be written about most things if handled properly, only one of those three is a strong discloaimer. Most roads are likely to have a long and interesting history of some form or another. Grutness...wha? 01:46, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
'Keep notable, delete the rest' and 'Delete unless notable' are the same votes, it's just the semantics that are different. I think that's a fairly sensible attitude to have. Proto t c 12:10, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
I can't speak for the others but I was reluctant to put my vote in the keep notable, delete others because I was worried that it would be taken as a keep without any need for notability. Anything notable should be kept, regardless of what it is, if an article can be written about it. It's a no-brainer. But these things are not notable just by being. Sabine's Sunbird 15:59, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

doh Marcus22 10:59, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Decent names[edit]

I don't care what you include or not, but for pity's sake can we have unique names, like B2000 (Great Britain) (apparently NI has its own numbering). This plea comes to you from a finger-sore editor half-way through moving [[A2 road]] to A2 road (Great Britain), due to the number of countries with an A2 road. And yes, I have posted this at Great Britain road numbering scheme, but there are lots of you here, so I'm seizing my chance... JackyR | Talk 02:33, 12 September 2006 (UTC)