Difference Between Highway and Byway

Highway and Byway both are a way to travel from one destination to another, but both have a minor difference like highways are the main source to travel while byway is only used in rural areas.

Highways are wider and carry heavy traffic, but byways are small and narrow.

Highway vs Byway

The difference between Highway and Byway is that highway is wider, well-constructed, and usually used to travel between two cities but on the other hand, the byways is a small narrow path with an unstructured surface. Highways are multilane roads, but byways are the single-lane path.

Highway vs Byway

Highways are the major road between two cities, villages, towns, etc. and they connect them. It carries heavy traffic and helps in the smooth functioning of the vehicle.

Highway plays a crucial role in the effective transportation system and economic development of many developing and underdeveloped countries. 

Byway is a small and narrow path of ways in rural areas. In some rural area’s byways act as a lifeline to connect people and it is the only medium for travel and transportation.

It is also known as a secondary road. Byways are unstructured and unsurfaced or cover with grass.

Their construction is legal and they are free to drive any vehicle.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonHighwayByway
MeaningHighways are those roads that are wider than normal roads and specifically used to travel between two cities.Byway is a small and unsurfaced road or path usually found in rural areas.
ConstructionIt is well-constructed road with timely maintenanceIt is unstructured and unsurfaced road with negligible maintenance
LegitimacyHighways are legal and constructed as per government order and instructionsByways are also legal but they are constructed by local people as well or government
Economic DevelopmentHighway helps in economic development and social growth of the nationByway helps in the economic development of the rural area
Fuel Consumption and AccidentIt helps in the reduction of fuel consumption and reduces accidentsIt doesn’t help in the reduction of fuel consumption and more accidents happen

What is Highway?

The Highway is a major road commonly used by the public for travel between two cities or destinations and it is wider than the normal route or road. Highways are both public and private road and it is fit to carry heavy traffic.

In other words, a highway is any public way and the well-constructed road that is used by the public to travel without any restriction, but we have to pay toll in return.

The Highway makes good connectivity between places and attracts tourists to travel. Highways are very crucial for developing and underdeveloped countries because an effective transportation system helps in economic development by making travel easier and faster.

So, these are some benefits of the highway to nation and public:

Benefits of Highway

  1. Highways reduce the travel time between two destinations and make the journey faster
  2. It is the main source to travel for business and trade
  3. Promoting economic development
  4. Highway helps in reduction of transportation and production cost and increase profitability
  5. The highway connects the different places and communities
  6. Highway helps in reduction of accidents and fuel consumption
  7. It helps in economic development and social growth

What is Byway?

Byway is a track which is other than highway which is too small and narrow. Usually, byways are found in rural areas and these are unsurfaced or cover with green grass.

It a legal and we can run bicycles, motor vehicles, etc. In some rural area’s byways are its lifeline to travel and transportation.

In simple words, Byways is a small path in rural areas for walking, riding, etc. other than main roads and we do not pay any toll on it.

Byway also have some benefits, and these are here:

Benefits of byway:

  1. Byway helps in transportation in rural areas
  2. Byways connect rural areas with highways, freeways, etc.
  3. It helps in the economic development of rural areas

Disadvantage of byway:

  1. Byways reduce the lifetime of vehicles due to it is unstructured or unsurfaced structures.
  2. Byways increase fuel consumption.
  3. Byways increase the travel time, frustrated and unsafe.

Main Differences Between Highway and Byway

  1. The Highway is a major road to connect two cities or destination or places, but byway is a small narrow road which connects rural areas with the main road.
  2. Highway helps in the social and economic growth or development of any developing or under-developed country. Byway helps in the development of one region.
  3. Highways are durable, long-lasting, well-constructed, and stay in good condition for a long time. Byways are non-durable, not well constructed and it does not stay well for a long time
  4. Highway network helps industries in the reduction of transportation cost, production cost and helps in the reduction of supply or delivery time and increases the profitability of organizations. Byway network only helps a particular region.
  5. Highways reduce the travel time, excite people to travel for trade or vacation or business and it makes journey quick, ample, and safer and reduce fuel consumption or reduce the accident rate. But byway makes travel frustrated, slow, unsafe and consume more fuel.
  6. Highway increases the lifetime of vehicles because tires, brakes, and other parts of vehicles do not suffer and function well while using byways it reduces the lifetime of vehicles because clutch, tires, brakes suffer on the poor roads and do not function well.
Difference Between Highway and Byway


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4545817
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3550297
  3. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/1974/an/an9749900900
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