This paper proposes a continuum model based on a three-dimensional flow-concentration surface for multi-class traffic. The model assumes that the flow of any vehicle class is a function of the class density as well as the fraction of road area occupied by other vehicle classes. By considering occupancy of road area instead of lane occupancy, the model effectively describes traffic flow that does not follow lane discipline. The propagation speed of small disturbance (PSSD), conventionally defined from the two-dimensional flow–density relationship, is reformulated for each class using a three-dimensional flow–concentration surface. Using the proposed PSSD and a speed–area occupancy (speed-AO) relationship, a second-order continuum model for multi-class traffic is formulated. The speed–AO relationship captures class-specific congestion and replicates the gap-filling behaviour commonly observed in lane-indisciplined traffic. Properties of the proposed model are validated theoretically where possible, and through numerical simulation when theoretical derivations are cumbersome. Numerical simulation of the proposed multi-class traffic model replicates field-observed phenomena such as shockwaves and rarefaction waves, local cluster effect, and gap-filling behaviour. Finally, the model is calibrated using field traffic data collected on a road section with bottleneck, and is found to replicate class-wise vehicle flows and speeds, and stop-and-go phenomena. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.