William Rees Jeffreys Hon.MTPI.,C.I.Mech.E was the founder of the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund. He was born in Paddington, London in 1871, and lived in Sussex.  

Rees Jeffreys
William Rees Jeffreys
(1871 – 1954)

William Rees Jeffreys is the greatest authority on roads in the United Kingdom and one of the greatest in the whole world.

Lloyd George, 1937.

William Rees Jeffreys was a visionary whose life work was creating better, more attractive, safer and more accessible roads and streets.

He organised asphalt trials and led the campaign to seal the nation’s roads, therefore improving travel for road users and reducing roadside nuisance. He was a major force in developing the national road classification system.

He was also a keen cyclist and, in 1900, was elected as a member of the council of the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC). A year later, he became the representative of the CTC on the Roads Improvement Council.  

Rees Jeffreys’ was a proponent of safe road design and concerned with promoting the idea of roads as an amenity; opening up access to the countryside for recreation and the appreciation of beauty, as well as providing connections between villages, towns and cities.

Rees Jeffreys occupied many influential positions in promoting the interests of road users including, but not limited to:
– Secretary of the Road Board
– Secretary to the Royal Automobile Club
– Chairman of the Roads Improvement Association
– Honorary Treasurer of the Institute of Automobile Engineers.

His book, The King’s Highway, published in 1949 by Batchworth Press is of particular interest.

Rees Jeffreys established the Road Fund that lives on in his name in 1950.

Following his death in 1954, his estate funded the endowment which has for over 70 years offered financial support toward education, research and physical projects that would carry on his work.

Click here to see the original Trust Deed and here for Annual Reports and Accounts.

You can also read about William Rees Jeffreys on this Wikipedia page, as well as an article about the Roads Improvement Association.