Table 1. Characteristics of road networks outside built-up areas in The Netherlands. Source: van Langevelde et al. (2009).


Scale of road network
Minor roads Major roads
Local Regional National
Road type Access road Collector road Arterial highway Motorway
Network characteristics
Length, paved (km) 47,652† 7508‡ 2291
Road density§ (km/km²) 1.55 0.24 0.07
Mesh width§ (km) 1.3 8.2 26.8
Road characteristics¦
Cross-section width (m) 5.5 to 9.5 6.5 to >10 ±20 ±40 or 60¶
Pavement width (m) 2.5 to 4.5 4.5 to 6.2 ±7.5 2 × (12 to 21)¶
Number of carriageways 1 1 1 2
Number of traffic lanes 1 1 or 2# 2 4, 6, or 8
Traffic characteristics
Volume (×103 vehicles/d) 0.1 to 1 0.5 to 5 2 to 25 20 to 200
Legal speed limit (km/h) 60†† 60 or 80†† 80 or 100 100 or 120

†Road statistics do not allow for specification of the local network by road type.
‡Including 868 km of arterial highway belonging to principal national routes (not motorways).
§Based on 30,682 km² of land outside built-up areas.
¦Profiles based on the Dutch concept of sustainable traffic safety.
¶Based on a 2 × 2 and a 2 × 4 motorway respectively, total width including two verges of 5 m.
#For two lanes, a minimum pavement width of 5.5 m is required.
††Both limits are still in use. The limit has been 80 km/h since 1974; this is still the official limit unless 60 km/h is signposted. Today, the latter is already the case for approximately half of the Dutch network of rural minor roads.