Roads in Great Nortend

Roads, or public highways, are an indispensable part of the Nortan civil infrastructure. Though Great Nortend relies less heavily on its road network for long-distance travel, it is crucial for short to medium distance journeys. Motor vehicles make only a small fraction of the total number of vehicles registered in Great Nortend, with various forms of horse-drawn waggon, cart or carriage forming the bulk of private vehicular registrations in the country.

Types of highway

There are four main types of public highway in Great Nortend, terms which generally relate to the highway's construction, maximum speed and purpose.

Streets

A street is defined by law to mean any public highway in a built-up area with buildings on either side. Streets are almost always paved or pitched with cobblestones, and have a maximum theoretical speed limit of 30 m.p.h. Streets are maintained by either parishes in rural areas, or by town or city councils and corporations.

Roads

A road is a special form of highway which is characterised by being a relatively straight and flat thoroughfare in the countryside usually linking major towns. They are not usually paved or pitched, and most roads indeed are gravel roads. There is a maximum theoretical speed limit of 60 m.p.h. Most roads are maintained by the towns they link, but some are maintained by the parishes wherein they pass.

Lanes

A lane, or country lane, is a narrow public highway in the countryside, often highly meandering and curving to suit the geography. Lanes are mostly always dirt roads, though some are gravelled. Maintenance of dirt lanes is one of the largest responsibilities of parish vestries, who must continually repair roads to prevent the formation of ruts and potholes.

Driveway

A driveway is a road which is designated as one which a drover may use when driving a flock of livestock, and emanate out from market towns and cities. They normally have a narrow gravelled surface and edged with wide verges of grass, called the long acre, for the use the driven flock. Driveways are usually up to 40 ft wide. Driveways are usually marked with either stones or signs, and have a low maximum theoretical speed of 30 m.p.h.

Turnpikes

A turnpike is a toll road which usually provides a wide, smooth and gravelled road surface. The most significant turnpikes are the numerous turnpikes through the Monmorians, which charge fees for passage through nearly all of the easily navigable passes. Historically turnpikes were common through Great Nortend, especially during the 18th and 19th centuries, however with the increase in rail transport, they have gradually lost their profitability and have been turned into public highways.

Number plates

The typical design of number plates.

Number plates are required in Great Nortend for all motorcars, vans, lorries, horse-drawn carriages, coaches, carts, waggons and other such vehicles when used on public roads. Most number plates are made from enamel-painted pressed steel or iron.

General Purpose number plates

General Purpose number plates are the standard issue number plate, being either black on white or white on black. The number plate format for general purpose number plates is LNNN(...)·C
C
where L is a vehicular type identifier, N three or more numbers issued consequentially, and C
C
the issuing authority county code. The vehicular type identifier, or VTI, is as follows:

  • A: Automatic transmission motor car
  • B: Commercial motor vehicle
  • C: Horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage or coach
  • D: Horse-drawn cart or dray
  • E: Electric motor vehicle or float.
  • M: Manual transmission motor car
  • P: Ambulance or fire engine
  • S: Steam traction engine or carriage
  • T: Horse-drawn two-wheeled carriage or trap.
  • W: Horse-drawn waggon

Hire Carriages

Hire Carriages have a green on white number plate bearing the letters H
C
. Hire carriages include taximeter cabriolets, Hackney carriages and other 'taxi' vehicles, but do not include hire vehicles. Instead of single separator dots, double dots are used.

Omnibus

Omnibus have white on green number plates in a similar fashion to hire carriage number plates. Omnibus and trolleybus use the same number plates, which have do not have a minimum number (e.g. 4 is used instead of 004 as for general issue number plates).

Corps Diplomatique

Diplomatic number plates, issued to diplomats from foreign countries, are gold on light blue, and are otherwise identical to general issue plates, save for the double separator dots and the use of D
C
as the issuing authority code.

Police vehicles

Police vehicle number plates are white on royal blue. They are otherwise identical to general issue number plates, save for the use of a crown as the separator dot and the use of P
C
, standing for Police Constabulary, as the issuing authority code

Military vehicles

Military vehicles are given number white on black number plates. The sequence is NN LL NN where N is a number and LL signifies the branch or corps issuing the number plate. A crown separates the two letters but no other separator is used.

Government and Crown vehicles

Official government number plates use a full-coloured crown with white text on black. Number plates are numbered in sequence, with the official carriage of the Prime Minister numbered 8 and, exempli gratia, a senior civil servant's chauffeured carriage at number 83.

The vehicles transporting the King or other members of the Royal family use simply a crown as a number plate, in addition to the personal standard.