The basis of the structural design of road pavements in Britain is reviewed and compared with the design procedures used for other structures. The need is stated for a method of pavement design based upon permissible stresses in the various layers which will limit the deformation or cracking to acceptable levels under given numbers of vehicles of various weights. The preparation of such a method requires several major fields of research to be brought to an adequate stage at about the same time. The RRL research programme in these fields is outlined. (A)

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