The Maltese road network consists of the following categories:
- Arterial roads (4%)
- Distributor roads (4%)
- Rural and Urban Roads with Linking function (92%)
The table below is extracted from NSO publication of 2001 and indicates the length in km of each road category divided between Malta and Gozo.
The backbone of the Maltese road network consist of nine arterial roads forming 185km of paved arterial and distributor roads, with 137 km of arterial and distributor roads located in Malta and the remaining 48 km found in Gozo.
Out of 185km of arterial and distributor roads, c. 90km are arterial roads. These are numbered from 1 to 9 for identification purposes:
- Arterial route number 1 forms part of the Trans European Road Network (TERN) and extends from the south-east part of the Malta to the north-west part of Gozo, and joins Birzebbuga to Dwejra. It passes via Hal Far, Marsa, Santa Venera Tunnels, Kappara Junction, Coast Road, St. Pauls Bay Bypass, Mellieha Bypass, Cirkewwa, Mgarr Gozo, Victoria, San Lawrenz, Dwejra. The route consists of c. 40.5km in Malta and c. 13km in Gozo. In the past years, there were upgrades to this route particularly in Hal Far Road, Phases 1, 2 and 3, Civil Aviation Avenue, Council of Europe Avenue and Garibaldi Avenue, Mellieha Bypass, St. Paul’s Bypass, Mellieha to Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal. There are also plans to upgrade sections of the Coast Road from St. Andrews to St. Pauls’ Bay Bypass and also to upgrade the intersection at Kappara Junction.
- Arterial route number 2, 3 and 4 are located in Gozo and are c. 6km, 3.6km and 1.7km long respectively.
- Arterial Route number 5 is c. 5km long and starts from the University roundabout at Tal-Qroqq, passes through Birkirkara Bypass and ends at Mosta.
- Arterial Route number 6 is c. 2.6km long and connects Marsa, Floriana and Valletta.
- Arterial Route number 7 is c. 9.6km. It consists of Mriehel Bypass and Mtarfa Bypass.
- Arterial Route number 8 is c. 7.9km. It starts from St. Lucia Roundabout and passes through Luqa (in front of Barracks), proceeds to Qormi.
- Arterial Route number 9 is c. 6.2km and consists of Gudja Bypass, Ghaxaq Bypass and Tal-Barrani Road.
There are c. 95km of distributor roads in the Maltese Road network. Distributor roads connect the arterial roads with the urban roads with linking function. They are numbered from 10 to 99. Such road category includes Marsascala Bypass (denoted as route 26), Valletta Road in Zurrieq (denoted by route 31).
Rural and Urban Roads With Linking Function
- amount to c. 196km,
- serve as links between arterial and distributor roads,
- serve as main routes to important touristic attractions and routes,
- reduce community severance.
- are numbered from 100 onwards.