Sri Lanka
2.3 Sri Lanka Road Network Assessment


Sri Lanka is a developing country yet it is known for a developed, well distributed road network. It is sufficient enough to meet 90% of the demand for transportation in the country. Majority of the roads are the responsibilities of the road development authority but some are under provincial control. After 2009, the development of roads accelerated by which new expressways and few overhead bridges was nationalized. Since the road network is a core function in all the sectors, a thriving road network will help the country flourish. One of the major challenges the country had to face was inability to occupy the whole demand in the roads, thus expansion projects are undergoing. Currently the inner circle of the expressway project is undergoing which is expected to reduce the traffic in the urban areas in western province.

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List.

Distance Matrix

Travel Times

Road Security

In Sri Lanka, road safety is ensured by the National Council for Road Safety.

Main objectives of the council are:

  • Prepare the background to create a high-quality driving service through the creation of disciplined and law-abiding drivers.
  • Provision of financial assistance for the families affected by hit and run accidents and the minimization of such accidents.
  • Identification and implementation of measures for the protection of pedestrians including roads, vehicles, and passengers who use it.
  • Collecting data, conducting surveys and researches on road safety, and developing international co-ordination.
  • Implementation of national road safety policies and minimize inconveniences jointly with the public sector, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) and private sector institutes.
  • Take necessary measures to rehabilitate disabled persons due to road accidents.
  • Provision of financial assistance and advices to follow economic, technological and possible social activities and environment friendly safety measures.
  • Formulation of national transport policy and contribute to its functioning.
  • Provide contribution for activities such as revision of preparation of laws relating to road safety.

Other than that all the drivers should be compliance with a driving license issued by the department of motor traffic. And also a greenhouse emission gas test is a must for the vehicles in road. Roads could be dangerous during the rainy season and could get blocked due to floods. Recently heavy wind has caused trees to fall which blocked the roads. But the trees were removed fast thus allowing vehicles to flow smoothly. Other than that the conditions are good.

(Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, 2019)

Weighbridges and Axle Load Limits

Axle Load Limits

Sri Lanka

Truck with 2 Axles

10,000 kg

Truck with 3 Axles

22,000 kg

Truck with 4 Axles


Semi-trailer with 3 Axles


Semi-trailer with 4 Axles


Semi-trailer with 5 Axles


Semi-trailer with 6 Axles


Truck & Drawbar Trailer with 4 Axles


Truck & Drawbar Trailer with 5 Axles


Truck & Drawbar Trailer with 6 Axles


Truck & Drawbar Trailer with 7 Axles


Road Class and Surface Conditions





High speed




National Highway Network







Major provincial roads used as feeder roads to A and E grade roads.



Local resident roads

Even though the overall road density is high in Sri Lanka relative to other developing countries, the condition of C class and B class roads are mostly not in good condition. Those roads are occasionally not wide enough for buses as well. However the A class roads which have been developed few decades back is currently under widening and resurfacing processes, thus the conditions of A class roads are relatively good. The main reason is that the roads reach its maximum capacity during the peak hours causing heavy traffic. When considering the expressways, as they were built very recently condition is good and assure a fast and smooth journey. In order to maintain the surface quality periodic maintenance is expected. Currently few new development projects are under progression in the Paliyagoda area. A new bridge was developed and opened recently in Rajagiriya increasing the capacity of the roads, due to the vehicle flow. Therefore has reduced the traffic relatively and allows smooth flow of vehicles.

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