The road transport is by far the most dominant mode of transport in Uganda, carrying over 95% of passenger and freight traffic. The other modes of transport constitute important elements of the whole transport system in Uganda despite the road mode of transport being dominant . The road network gives overall connectivity both along the main national and international highways and in access to individual towns, villages, workplaces and homesteads throughout the country. The national roads currently make up about 25% of the road network and carry over 80% of the total road traffic. They also provide vital transport corridors to the land-locked countries of Rwanda , Burundi , South Sudan and parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to the sea.
The country’s road network falls into four categories: national, district, urban and community access roads. The national roads network totals to 20,544km comprising paved and unpaved roads. As of June 2016, the paved network was 4,157kms (20 %) and the unpaved 16,388km (80 %). National roads are managed by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). The Authority operates 10 ferries located at strategic points that link national roads across major water bodies. There are 519 bridges and hundreds of culvert crossings, drifts and vented fords on the national road network. The other categories of roads also have some bridges, culverts and other drainage structures. District roads total around 35,566 km and are a mandated responsibility of District Local Governments. Urban roads, which currently total approximately 12,000km are all those roads within the boundaries of Urban Councils (excluding links maintained by UNRA) that are a mandated responsibility of Urban Local Governments. Community access roads, the current length of which is estimated at 78,000 km are a responsibility of Local Council III (sub-county) Governments. Even though road transport accounts for over 90% of passenger and cargo traffic, there is still no reliable data on the actual number of vehicles on the country’s roads. It is however estimated that the total number of vehicles in the country including motorcycles lies between 700,000 and 1, 200, 0001. The average annual growth rate in vehicle registration for all vehicles since FY 2002/3 has been 15%. The fastest growth rate has been in the motorcycles category.
According to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), out of the 20,000km of the National roads, only 15% (2914km) is paved or tarmac. Uganda’s current road network comprises of 20,000Km of national roads (managed by UNRA), 13,000Km of district roads and 30,000 km of community roads. According to the 2012 statistical abstract from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the length of paved roads increased from 3,112 km in 2010 to 3,264 km in 2011, and the length of unpaved roads decreased from 16,888 km in 2010 to 16,736 km in 2011.
Road transport in Uganda takes into account the following