Slight improvement in the condition of local roads in France

France |

The condition of local roads (“Routes départementales”) in France slightly improved in 2023 according to the 7th annual French National Road Observatory (ONR) report, published by Eurobitume industry partner IDRRIM (the French Institute of Roads, Streets and Infrastructure for Mobility).

64 départements (administrative divisions of France) and six metropolitan areas contributed to the survey. Their input was supplemented by State data on the non-concessionary road network, data from the municipal block and data from the National Bridge Programme.

A new approach resulted in the collection of valuable additional data about the road network managed by inter-municipal bodies, which revealed that even though capital expenditure on roads increased by almost 20% between 2016 and 2022 (to €9 billion), it is still more than 20% less than was spent in 2013.

Assets analysed
The State-owned road network
 The French State is responsible for 11,680 km of national roads, upon which 80 to 90% of goods are transported in heavy goods vehicles.

Mountain departments
In 2023, the ONR report includes an analysis dedicated to the 13 mountain departments which have specific road management requirements because of the local climate.

Roads managed by “départements”
The 95 “départements” 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.

This trend analysis shows a slight improvement in the condition of the departmental road network: the percentage of roads in poor condition slightly decreased, while the percentage of those in good condition increased slightly.

While the departmental network is rather well maintained, this is less true for the state and municipality-managed networks.

To view the 2023 ONR report, click here.