2020 French National Road Observatory report published

France |

The 4th annual French National Road Observatory (ONR) report on the state of the one million kilometre road network in France and the resources devoted to its maintenance has been published by IDRRIM (the French Institute of Roads, Streets and Infrastructure for Mobility).

Compiled using data from 68 “départements”, 10 large cities and information published by the French Government for the whole toll-free national road network, the headline conclusion from the report is that despite maintenance spending continuing to grow slowly, the level is not enough to improve the overall conditions of roads.

The State-owned road network

The French State is responsible for 11,600 km of “national” roads, upon which 80 to 90% of goods are transported – in heavy goods vehicles.

  • 51% of road pavements were in good condition in 2019 (down from 53.9% in the previous year)
  • 30% require maintenance (0.7% higher than 2018)
  • 19% are in poor condition (a 2.2% increase on 2018)

Condition of the toll-free national road network according to IQRN 3D (Quality Index of National roads 3D) 2018 and 2019 data

Roads managed by “départements”

The 95 “départements” (territorial divisions of the country with a local authority-style responsibility for managing some roads) in mainland France manage approximately 400,000 km of "secondary” roads up to the edge of conurbations. In cities, the roads are usually managed by the municipalities, unless they are national. 

  • The proportion of pavements in good condition is improving, reaching 59.2% in 2019 (up from 58.9% in 2018)
  • However, the proportion of pavements in poor condition also increased - to 12.9% in 2019 (up from 12.0% in 2018)

Trend analysis of the condition of the network at the overall level (Sample: 17 departments representing 66,272 km)

To view the 2020 ONR report, click here.