A controlled-access highway is a type of highway which has been
designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow and
ingress/egress regulated. Common English terms are freeway (in
South Africa and parts of the
United States and Canada),
motorway (in the United Kingdom, Ireland,
New Zealand and parts of
Australia), expressway (in some parts of Canada, parts of the United
States, and many Asian countries), and autoroute (in Québec, Canada).
Other similar terms include Interstate and parkway. Some of these may
be limited-access highways, although this term can also refer to a
class of highway with somewhat less isolation from other traffic.
In countries following the Vienna convention, the motorway
qualification implies they are forbidden for walking or parking, and
reserved for the use of motorised vehicles only.
A controlled-access highway provides an unhindered flow of traffic,
with no traffic signals, intersections or property access. They are
free of any at-grade crossings with other roads, railways, or
pedestrian paths, which are instead carried by overpasses and
underpasses. Entrances and exits to the highway are provided at
interchanges by slip roads (ramps), which allow for speed changes
between the highway and arterials and collector roads. On the
controlled-access highway, opposing directions of travel are generally
separated by a median strip or central reservation containing a
traffic barrier or grass. Elimination of conflicts with other
directions of traffic dramatically improves safety and capacity.
Controlled-access highways evolved during the first half of the 20th
Italy opened its first autostrada in 1924, A8, connecting
Milan to Varese.
Germany began to build its first controlled-access
autobahn without speed limits (30-kilometre (19 mi) on what is
now A555, then referred to as a dual highway) in 1932 between Cologne
and Bonn. It then rapidly constructed a nationwide system of such
roads. The first North American freeways (known as parkways) opened in
New York City
New York City area in the 1920s. Britain, heavily influenced by
the railways, did not build its first motorway, the Preston By-pass
(M6), until 1958.
Most technologically advanced nations feature an extensive network of
freeways or motorways to provide high-capacity urban travel, or
high-speed rural travel, or both. Many have a national-level or even
international-level (e.g. European E route) system of route numbering.
1 Definition standards
3.1 Cross sections
3.2 Control of access
3.3 Construction techniques
4 Intersections and access points
5.1 Toll effect
5.2 Safety in urban areas
6 Environmental effects
7 Route numbering
7.1 United Kingdom
7.1.1 Great Britain
7.1.2 Northern Ireland
7.2 Republic of Ireland
8 Regional variation
8.1.2 South Africa
8.2.3 El Salvador
8.2.4 United States
8.2.5 British overseas territories
8.3.2 Hong Kong
8.3.11 The Philippines
8.3.13 Sri Lanka
8.4.4 Bosnia and Herzegovina
8.4.7 Czech Republic
8.4.21 Republic of Macedonia
8.4.28 United Kingdom
184.108.40.206 Great Britain
220.127.116.11 Northern Ireland
8.5.2 New Zealand
9 See also
12 External links
There are several international standards which give some definitions
of words such as motorways, but there is no formal definition of the
English language words such as "motorway", "freeway" and "expressway",
or of the equivalent words in other languages such as "autoroute",
"Autobahn", "autostrada", "autocesta", that are accepted
worldwide—in most cases these words are defined by local statute or
design standards or regional international treaties. Descriptions that
are widely used include:
Vienna Convention on
Road Signs and Signals
"Motorway" means a road specially designed and built for motor
traffic, which does not serve properties bordering on it, and which:
Is provided, except at special points or temporarily, with separate
carriageways for the two directions of traffic, separated from each
other either by a dividing strip not intended for traffic or,
exceptionally, by other means;
Does not cross at level with any road, railway or tramway track, or
Is specially sign-posted as a motorway;
One green or blue symbol (like ) appears at motorway entry in
countries which follow Vienna Convention. Exit is marked with another
The definitions of "motorway" from the OECD and PIARC  are
Motorway: Limited-access dual carriageway road, not crossed on the
same level by other traffic lanes, for the exclusive use of certain
classes of motor vehicle.
ITE (including CITE)
Freeway: A divided major roadway with full control of access and with
no crossings at grade. This definition applies to toll as well as
Freeway A: This designates roadways with greater visual complexity and
high traffic volumes. Usually this type of freeway will be found in
metropolitan areas in or near the central core and will operate
through much of the early evening hours of darkness at or near design
Freeway B: This designates all other divided roadways with full
control of access where lighting is needed.
In the European Union, for statistic and safety purposes, some
distinction might be made between motorway and expressway, for
instance a principal arterial might be considered as:
Roads serving long distance and mainly interurban movements. Includes
motorways (urban or rural) and expressways (road which does not serve
properties bordering on it and which is provided with separate
carriageways for the two directions of traffic). Principal arterials
may cross through urban areas, serving suburban movements. The traffic
is characterized by high speeds and full or partial access control
(interchanges or junctions controlled by traffic lights). Other roads
leading to a principal arterial are connected to it through side
In this view, CARE's definition stands that a motorway is understood
public road with dual carriageways and at least two lanes each way.
All entrances and exits are signposted and all interchanges are grade
separated. Central barrier or median present throughout the road. No
crossing is permitted, while stopping is permitted only in an
emergency. Restricted access to motor vehicles, prohibited to
pedestrians, animals, pedal cycles, mopeds, agricultural vehicles. The
minimum speed is not lower than 50 km/h [31 mph] and
the maximum speed is not higher than 130 km/h [81 mph]
Germany where no speed limit is defined).
Motorways are designed to carry heavy traffic at high speed with the
lowest possible number of accidents. They are also designed to collect
long-distance traffic from other roads, so that conflicts between
long-distance traffic and local traffic are avoided. According to
the common European definition, a motorway is defined as "a road,
specially designed and built for motor traffic, which does not serve
properties bordering on it, and which: (a) is provided, except at
special points or temporarily, with separate carriageways for the two
directions of traffic, separated from each other, either by a dividing
strip not intended for traffic, or exceptionally by other means; (b)
does not cross at level with any road, railway or tramway track, or
footpath; (c) is specially sign-posted as a motorway and is reserved
for specific categories of road motor vehicles. Urban motorways are
also included in this definition. However, the respective national
definitions and the type of roads covered may present slight
differences in different EU countries.
Historical map of the original A8-A9 motorway, Italy. The first
motorway ever built in the world was opened on 21 September 1924.
The first version of modern controlled-access highways evolved during
the first half of the 20th century. The
Long Island Motor
Long Island, New York, opened in 1908 as a private venture, was the
world's first limited-access roadway. It included many modern
features, including banked turns, guard rails and reinforced concrete
Modern controlled-access highways originated in the early 1920s in
response to the rapidly increasing use of the automobile, the demand
for faster movement between cities and as a consequence of
improvements in paving processes, techniques and materials. These
original high-speed roads were referred to as "dual highways" and,
while divided, bore little resemblance to the highways of today.
Opened in 1921, the
Berlin is the oldest controlled-access
highway in Europe, although it was initially opened as a race track.
The first dual highway opened in
Italy in 1924, between
Varese, and now forms parts of the A8 and A9 motorways. This highway,
while divided, contained only one lane in each direction and no
interchanges. Shortly thereafter, in New York in 1924, the Bronx River
Parkway was opened to traffic. The Bronx River
Parkway was the first
North America to utilize a median strip to separate the
opposing lanes, to be constructed through a park and where
intersecting streets crossed over bridges. The Southern State
Parkway opened in 1927, while the
Long Island Motor
Parkway was closed
in 1937 and replaced by the Northern State
Parkway (opened 1931) and
the contiguous Grand Central
Parkway (opened 1936). In Germany,
construction of the Bonn-
Cologne autobahn began in 1929 and was opened
in 1932 by the mayor of Cologne.
In Canada, the first precursor with semi-controlled access was The
Road between Hamilton and Toronto, which featured a median
divider between opposing traffic flow, as well as the nations first
cloverleaf interchange. This highway developed into the Queen
Elizabeth Way, which featured a cloverleaf and trumpet interchange
when it opened in 1937, and until the Second World War, boasted the
longest illuminated stretch of roadway built. A decade later, the
first section of
Highway 401 was opened, based on earlier designs. It
has since gone on to become the busiest highway in the world.
The word freeway was first used in February 1930 by Edward M.
Bassett. Bassett argued that roads should be classified
into three basic types: highways, parkways, and freeways. In
Bassett's zoning and property law-based system, abutting property
owners have the rights of light, air and access to highways, but not
parkways and freeways; the latter two are distinguished in that the
purpose of a parkway is recreation, while the purpose of a freeway is
movement. Thus, as originally conceived, a freeway is simply a
strip of public land devoted to movement to which abutting property
owners do not have rights of light, air or access.
Highway 401 in Southern Ontario, Canada. An example of a
collector-express freeway design, the route features four carriageways
The A10 near Orléans,
France showing hard shoulder and emergency
telephone. The broken demarcation line for the hard shoulder is
specific to France, and serves as a safety reference mark for drivers:
the advisory distance from the vehicle ahead is two dashes minimum.
Freeways, by definition, have no at-grade intersections with other
roads, railroads or multi-use trails, and no traffic signal needed,
hence "free of signal", but some Movable bridges, such as the
Interstate Bridge on
Interstate 5 between
Oregon and Washington, do
require drivers to stop for ship traffic.
The crossing of freeways by other routes is typically achieved with
grade separation either in the form of underpasses or overpasses. In
addition to sidewalks (pavements) attached to roads that cross a
freeway, specialized pedestrian footbridges or tunnels may also be
provided. These structures enable pedestrians and cyclists to cross
the freeway at that point without a detour to the nearest road
Access to freeways is typically provided only at grade-separated
interchanges, though lower-standard right-in/right-out
(left-in/left-out in countries that drive on the left) access can be
used for direct connections to side roads. In many cases,
sophisticated interchanges allow for smooth, uninterrupted transitions
between intersecting freeways and busy arterial roads. However,
sometimes it is necessary to exit onto a surface road to transfer from
one freeway to another. One example in the
United States (notorious
for the resulting congestion) is the connection from
Interstate 70 to
Pennsylvania Turnpike (
Interstate 70 and Interstate 76) through
the town of Breezewood, Pennsylvania.
Speed limits are generally higher on freeways and are occasionally
nonexistent (as on much of Germany's
Autobahn network). Because higher
speeds reduce decision time, freeways are usually equipped with a
larger number of guide signs than other roads, and the signs
themselves are physically larger. Guide signs are often mounted on
overpasses or overhead gantries so that drivers can see where each
lane goes. Exit numbers are commonly derived from the exit's distance
in miles or kilometers from the start of the freeway. In some areas,
there are public rest areas or service areas on freeways, as well as
emergency phones on the shoulder at regular intervals.
In the United States, mileposts start at the southern or westernmost
point on the freeway (either its terminus or the state line).
Nevada use postmile systems in which the markers
indicate mileage through the state's individual counties. However,
Ohio also use the standard milepost system concurrently
with their respective postmile systems.
California numbers its exits
off of its freeways according to a milepost system but does not use
Diagram showing lanes and road layout (Irish road markings)
Two-lane freeways, often undivided, are sometimes built when traffic
volumes are low or right-of-way is limited; they may be designed for
easy conversion to one side of a four-lane freeway. (Most of the Bert
T. Combs Mountain
Parkway in Eastern Kentucky is two lanes, but work
has begun to make all of it four-lane.) These are often called Super
two roads. Several such roads are infamous for a high rate of lethal
crashes; an outcome because they were designed for short sight
distances (sufficient for freeways without oncoming traffic, but
insufficient for the years in service as two-lane road with oncoming
traffic). An example of such a "
Highway to Hell" was
European route E4
Gävle to Axmartavlan, Sweden. The high rate of crashes with
severe personal injuries on that (and similar) roads did not cease
until a median crash barrier was installed, transforming the fatal
crashes into non-fatal crashes. Otherwise, freeways typically have at
least two lanes in each direction; some busy ones can have as many as
16 or more lanes[a] in total.
In San Diego, California,
Interstate 5 has a similar system of express
and local lanes for a maximum width of 21 lanes on a 3.2-kilometre
(2 mi) segment between
Interstate 805 and
California State Route
56. In Mississauga, Ontario,
Highway 401 uses collector-express lanes
for a total of 18 lanes through its intersection with Highway
Highway 410 and
These wide freeways may use separate collector and express lanes to
separate through traffic from local traffic, or special high-occupancy
vehicle lanes, either as a special restriction on the innermost lane
or a separate roadway, to encourage carpooling. These HOV lanes, or
roadways open to all traffic, can be reversible lanes, providing more
capacity in the direction of heavy traffic, and reversing direction
before traffic switches. Sometimes a collector/distributor road, a
shorter version of a local lane, shifts weaving between closely spaced
interchanges to a separate roadway or altogether eliminates it.
In some parts of the world, notably parts of the US, frontage roads
form an integral part of the freeway system. These parallel surface
roads provide a transition between high-speed "through" traffic and
local traffic. Frequent slip-ramps provide access between the freeway
and the frontage road, which in turn provides direct access to local
roads and businesses.
Except on some two-lane freeways (and very rarely on wider freeways),
a median separates the opposite directions of traffic. This strip may
be as simple as a grassy area, or may include a crash barrier such as
a "Jersey barrier" or an "
Ontario Tall Wall" to prevent head-on
collisions. On some freeways, the two carriageways are built on
different alignments; this may be done to make use of available
corridors in a mountainous area or to provide narrower corridors
through dense urban areas.
Control of access
Control of access relates to a legal status which limits the types of
vehicles that can use a highway, as well as a road design that limits
the points at which they can access it.
Freeways are usually limited to motor vehicles of a minimum power or
weight; signs may prohibit cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians and
impose a minimum speed. It is possible for non-motorized traffic to
use facilities within the same right-of-way, such as sidewalks
constructed along freeway-standard bridges and multi-use paths next to
freeways such as the
Suncoast Trail along the Suncoast
De Lucht Rest Area on the Dutch A2 - A typical rest area in the
Netherlands with services (fuel, refreshments and toilets). The only
access is via the highway that it serves.
In some US jurisdictions, especially where freeways replace existing
roads, non-motorized access on freeways is permitted. Different states
United States have different laws. Cycling on freeways in
Arizona may be prohibited only where there is an alternative route
judged equal or better for cycling. Wyoming, the least populated
state, allows cycling on all freeways.
Oregon allows bicycles except
on specific urban freeways in Portland and Medford.
In countries such as the
United Kingdom new motorways require an Act
of Parliament to ensure restricted right of way. Since upgrading an
existing road (the "Queen's Highway") to a full motorway will result
in extinguishing the right of access of certain groups such as
pedestrians, cyclists and slow-moving traffic, many controlled access
roads are not full motorways. In some cases motorways are linked
by short stretches of road where alternative rights of way are not
practicable such as the
Dartford Crossing (the furthest downstream
public crossing of the River Thames) or where it was not economic to
build a motorway alongside the existing road such as the former
Cumberland Gap. The A1 is a good example of piece-wise upgrading to
motorway standard—as of January 2013, the 639-kilometre-long
(397 mi) route had five stretches of motorway (designated as
Continental European non-motorway dual carriageways can have limits as
high as 110–130 km/h (68–81 mph).
Research shows 85 percent of motor vehicle-bicycle crashes follow
turning or crossing at intersections. Freeway travel eliminates
almost all those conflicts save at entrance and exit ramps—which, at
least on those freeways where cycling has not been banned, have
sufficient room and sight for cyclists and motorists. An analysis of
Arizona showed no safety problems with cycling on freeways.
Fewer than one motor vehicle-bicycle crash a year was recorded on
nearly 3,200 shoulder kilometres (2,000 mi) open to cyclists in
Major arterial roads will often have partial access control, meaning
that side roads will intersect the main road at grade, instead of
using interchanges, but driveways may not connect directly to the main
road, and drivers must use intersecting roads to access adjacent land.
At arterial junctions with relatively quiet side roads, traffic is
controlled mainly by two-way stop signs which do not impose
significant interruptions on traffic using the main highway.
Roundabouts are often used at busier intersections in Europe because
they help minimize interruptions in flow, while traffic signals that
create greater interference with traffic are still preferred in North
America. There may be occasional interchanges with other major
arterial roads. Examples include US 23 between SR 15's
eastern terminus and Delaware, Ohio, along with SR 15 between its
eastern terminus and I-75, US 30, SR 29/US 33, and
US 35 in western and central Ohio. This type of road is sometimes
called an expressway.
The most frequent way freeways are laid out is usually by building
them from the ground up after things such as forestry or buildings are
cleared away. Sometimes they deplete farmland, but other methods have
been developed for economic, social and even environmental reasons.
Full freeways are sometimes made by converting at-grade expressways or
by replacing at-grade intersections with overpasses; however, any
at-grade intersection that ends a freeway remains.
Often, when there is a two-lane undivided freeway or expressway, it is
converted by constructing a twin corridor on the side by leaving a
median between the two travel directions. The opposing side for the
old two-way corridor becomes a passing lane.
Other techniques involve building a new carriageway on the side of a
divided highway that has a lot of private access on one side and
sometimes has long driveways on the other side since an easement for
widening comes into place, especially in rural areas.
When a "third" carriageway is added, sometimes it can shift a
directional carriageway by 50–200 feet (15–61 m) (or maybe
more depending on land availability) as a way to retain private access
on one side that favors over the other. Other methods involve
constructing a service drive that shortens the long driveways
(typically by less than 100 metres (330 ft)).
Intersections and access points
Main article: Interchange (road)
An intersection is a highway layout that permits traffic from one
controlled-access highway to access another and vice versa whereas an
access point is a highway layout where traffic from a distributor or
local road can join a controlled-access highway. Some countries, such
as the United Kingdom, do not distinguish between the two, but other,
such as Germany; make a distinction using the word Kreuz (cross) for
the former and Ausfahrt (exit) for the other. In all cases one road
crosses the other via a bridge.
The inter-connecting roads, or slip-roads, which link the two roads,
can follow any one of a number of patterns. The actual pattern is
determined by a number of factors including local topology, traffic
density, land cost, building costs, type of road, etc. In some
jurisdictions feeder/distributor lanes are common, especially for
cloverleaf interchanges; in others, such as the United Kingdom, where
the roundabout interchange is common, feeder/distributor lanes are
A few of the more common types of junction are shown
Various interchange layouts
Four-level stack: Used as a major junction, usually for freeway
Roundabout interchange: Very common in the
United Kingdom as either a
junction or exit.
Cloverleaf: Used mainly as a junction.
Parclo (partial cloverleaf) interchange: often used to link a minor
road with a junction.
Trumpet interchange: a motorway "T" junction
Motorways are the safest roads by design. While accounting for more
than one quarter of all kilometres driven, they contributed only 8% of
the total number of European road deaths in 2006. Germany's
Highway Research Institute provided International
and Accident Database (IRTAD) statistics for the year 2010, comparing
overall fatality rates with motorway rates (regardless of traffic
Killed per 1 billion veh·km
There are many differences between countries in their geography,
economy, traffic growth, highway system size, degree of urbanization
and motorization, etc.; all of which need to be taken into
consideration when comparisons are made.
According to Vinci Autoroutes one third of accidents in French
motorways are due to sleepy driving.
The German autobahn network illustrates the safety trade-offs of
controlled access highways. The injury crash rate is very low on
autobahns while 22 people died per 1000 injury crashes—although
autobahns have a lower rate than the 29 deaths per 1,000 injury
accidents on conventional rural roads, the rate is higher than the
risk on urban roads. Speeds are higher on rural roads and autobahns
than urban roads, increasing the severity potential of a crash.
According to ESTC, German motorways without a speed limit, but with a
130 km/h (81 mph) speed recommendation, are three times more
deadly than motorways with a speed limit.
Germany also introduced some 130 km/h (81 mph) speed limits
on various motorway sections which were not limited. This generated a
reduction in deaths in a range from 20% to 50% on those sections.
Fatalities per 1000 Injury Crashes
* per 1,000,000,000 travel-kilometres
University of Barcelona
University of Barcelona study suggests that if tolls are implemented
on a controlled-access highway, drivers may seek alternative routes to
avoid paying the tolls. This may result in a decrease of safety on
roads which are not designed for heavy traffic.
Safety in urban areas
In the United Kingdom, there are very few studies regarding the impact
of road traffic accidents from existing and new urban motorways.
In particular, new urban motorways do not grant a reduction of traffic
In Italy, a study performed on urban motorway A56 Tangenziale di
Napoli showed that reduction of speed allows to decrease crashs.
In Marseille, France, from June 2009 to May 2010, CEREMA, the French
centre for studies on risk, mobility and environment, performed a
study on Marius, a network of urban motorways. This study established
a link between accidents and traffic variables:
for single vehicle accidents, the 6-minute average speed on the fast
lane; and the time headway (on every lane),
for multiple vehicle accidents, the occupancy, and the time headway
(for the middle lane).
The 150-kilometre-long (93 mi) Marius network counts 292 injury
accidents or fatalities for 1.5 billion of vehicle-kilometres, that is
189 injury accidents or fatalities for 1 billion of
Some European countries have improved safety of urban motorways, with
a set of to dynamically manage traffic flow in response to changing
volumes, speeds, and incidentstechnics, including:
variable speed limits, line control, and speed harmonization
Shoulder running with emergency refuge areas
Queue warning and variable messaging
24/7 monitoring of traffic with cameras and/or in-pavement sensors
(both to detect incidents and identify when to reduce speed limits)
Specialized algorithms for temporary shoulder running, variable speed
limits, and/or incident detection and management
Ramp metering (coordinated or independent function)
In 1994, it was assumed that lighting urban motorway would benefit
from more safety than unlighted ones .
In California, in 2001, a study has established, for urban freeways,
some Relationships Among Urban Freeway Accidents, Traffic Flow,
Weather and Lighting Conditions
it establishes a difference between dry freeways in daylight and wet
freeways in darkness
it establishes that left lane collisions are more likely induced by
volume effects, while right lane collisions are more closely tied to
speed variances in adjacent lanes (In California, people drive the
Traffic congestion, such as this on the
Downtown Connector in Atlanta,
is tied to photochemical smog.
Highway lighting can have a negative influence on those living close
to the freeway.
High-mast lighting is an alternative as it
concentrates the light on the road, but the tall structures can also
Tunnel on A1
Motorway in Greece.
Controlled-access highways have been constructed both between major
cities as well as within them, leading to the sprawling suburban
development found near most modern cities. Highways have been heavily
criticized by environmentalists, urbanists, and preservationists for
the noise, pollution, and economic shifts they bring.
Additionally, they have been criticized by the driving public for the
inefficiency with which they handle peak hour traffic.
Often, rural highways open up vast areas to economic development and
municipal services, generally raising property values. In contrast to
this, above-grade highways in urban areas are often a source of
lowered property values, contributing to urban decay. Even with
overpasses and underpasses, neighbourhoods are divided—especially
impoverished ones where residents are less likely to own a car, or to
have the political and economic influence to resist construction
efforts. Beginning in the early 1970s, the US Congress identified
freeways and other urban highways as responsible for most of the noise
exposure of the US population. Subsequently, computer models were
developed to analyze freeway noise and aid in their design to help
minimize noise exposure.
Some cities have implemented freeway removal policies, under which
freeways have been demolished and reclaimed as boulevards or parks,
Seoul (Cheonggyecheon), Portland (Harbor Drive), New York
City (West Side Highway),
Boston (Central Artery), San Francisco
(Embarcadero Freeway) and
Milwaukee (Park East Freeway).
An alternative to surface or above ground freeway construction has
been the construction of underground urban freeways using tunnelling
technologies. This has been particularly employed in the Australian
Sydney (which has five such freeways),
Brisbane (which has
Melbourne (which has two). This has had the benefit of not
creating heavily trafficked surface roads and, in the case of
Melbourne's Eastlink Motorway, prevented the destruction of an
ecologically sensitive area.
Other Australian cities face similar problems (lack of available land,
cost of home acquisition, aesthetic problems and community
opposition). Brisbane, which also has to contend with physical
Brisbane River) and rapid population increases, has
embraced underground freeways. There are currently two open to traffic
Clem Jones Tunnel
Clem Jones Tunnel (Clem7) and Airport Link), one under construction
(Legacy Way) and one (East-West Link) is currently in planning. All of
the tunnels are designed to act as an inner-city ring road or bypass
system and include provision for public transport, whether underground
or in reclaimed space on the surface. However, freeways are not
beneficial for road-based public transport services, because the
restricted access to the roadway means that it is awkward for
passengers to get to the limited number of boarding points unless they
drive to them, largely defeating the purpose.
In Canada, the extension of Highway 401 into Detroit, known as
the Herb Gray Parkway, has been designed with numerous tunnels and
underpasses which provide land for parks and recreational uses.
Freeway opponents have found that freeway expansion is often
self-defeating: expansion simply generates more traffic. That is, even
if traffic congestion is initially shifted from local streets to a new
or widened freeway, people will begin to use their cars more and
commute from more remote locations. Over time, the freeway and its
environs become congested again as both the average number and
distance of trips increases. This phenomenon is known as induced
Urban planning experts such as Drusilla Van Hengel, Joseph DiMento and
Sherry Ryan argue that although properly designed and maintained
freeways may be convenient and safe, at least in comparison to
uncontrolled roads, they may not expand recreation, employment and
education opportunities equally for different ethnic groups, or for
people located in certain neighborhoods of any given city. Still,
they may open new markets to some small businesses.
Construction of urban freeways for the US Interstate
which began in the late 1950s, led to the demolition of thousands of
city blocks, and the dislocation of many more thousands of people. The
citizens of many inner city areas responded with the freeway and
expressway revolts. Through the study of Washington's response, it can
be shown that the most effective changes came not from executive or
legislative action, but instead from policy implementation. One of the
foremost rationales for the creation of the
United States Department
of Transportation (USDOT) was that an agency was needed to mediate
between the conflicting interests of interstates and cities.
Initially, these policies came as regulation of the state highway
departments. Over time, USDOT officials re-focused highway building
from a national level to the local scale. With this shift of
perspective came an encouragement for alternative transportation, and
locally based planning agencies.
At present, freeway expansion has largely stalled in the United
States, due to a multitude of factors that converged in the 1970s:
higher due process requirements prior to taking of private property,
increasing land values, increasing costs for construction materials,
local opposition to new freeways in urban cores, the passage of the
National Environmental Policy Act
National Environmental Policy Act (which imposed the requirement that
each new federally funded project must have an environmental impact
statement or report) and falling gas tax revenues as a result of the
nature of the flat-cent tax (it is not automatically adjusted for
inflation), the tax revolt movement, and growing popular support
for high-speed mass transit in lieu of new freeways.
Main article: Route number
Main article: Great Britain road numbering scheme
Motorway number zones of
England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales, the numbers of major motorways followed a
numbering system separate to that of the A-road network, though based
on the same principle of zones. Running clockwise from the M1 the
zones were defined for Zones 1 to 4 based on the proposed M2, M3 and
M4 motorways. The M5 and M6 numbers were reserved for the other two
planned long distance motorways. The Preston Bypass, the UK's
first motorway, should have been numbered A6(M) under the scheme
decided upon, but it was decided to keep the number M6 as had already
been applied. Certain portions or bypasses of A-roads may be
designated as motorways, the name of these portions being given the
suffix "(M)", format Ax(M). The A1(M) is an example of this,
however, the A1(M) from Darrington and Hook Moor in
West Yorkshire to
Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear fulfills the standards of an "M"-class
motorway. It has been suggested this should be made the northern
extension of the M1.
The Ax(M) format number is also planned to be used for the highest
standard of a new classification of road referred to in
"Expressways", basically roads normally without roundabouts or
cross-central-reservation turns (i.e. right turns across the central
reservation) and with graded junctions. Such roads will have
motorway-style restrictions but emergency reservations rather than
standard major motorway-standard hard shoulders.
In Scotland, where the
Scottish Office (superseded by the Scottish
Government in 1999) rather than the Ministry of Transport and Civil
Aviation had the decision, there is no zonal pattern, but rather the
A-road rule is strictly enforced. It was decided to reserve the
numbers 7, 8 and 9 for Scotland. The M8 follows the route of the
A8, and the A90 became part of the M90 when the A90 was re-routed
along the path of the A85.
Northern Ireland a distinct numbering system is used, which is
separate from the rest of the United Kingdom, though the
classification of roads along the lines of A, B and C is universal
throughout the UK and the Isle of Man. According to a written answer
to a parliamentary question to the
Northern Ireland Minister for
Regional Development, there is no known reason as to how Northern
Ireland's road numbering system was devised. However motorways, as
in the rest of the UK, are numbered M, with the two major motorways
Belfast being numbered M1 and M2. The M12 is a short spur
of the M1 with the M22 being a short continuation (originally intended
to be a spur) of the M2. There are two other motorways, the short M3,
the M5 and a motorway section of the A8 road, known as the A8(M).
Republic of Ireland
Signage on the M6 near
Kinnegad in Ireland. This is a standard sign in
many European countries to indicate the start of motorway regulations.
In this case the appropriate motorway number is shown and in
accordance with Irish practice a continuous yellow line indicates a
motorway rather than a high-quality dual carriageway (HQDC).
In the Republic of Ireland, motorway and national road numbering is
quite different from the UK convention. Since the passage of the Roads
Act 1993, all motorways are part of, or form, national primary roads.
These routes are numbered in series, (usually, radiating
anti-clockwise from Dublin, starting with the N1/M1) using numbers
from 1 to 33 (and, separately from the series, 50). Motorways use the
number of the route of which they form part, with an M prefix rather
than N for national road (or in theory, rather than R for regional
road). In most cases, the motorway has been built as a bypass of a
road previously forming the national road (e.g. the M7 bypassing roads
previously forming the N7)—the bypassed roads are reclassified as
regional roads, although updated signposting may not be provided for
some time, and adherence to signage colour conventions is lax
(regional roads have black-on-white directional signage, national
routes use white-on-green).
Under the previous legislation, the Local Government (Roads and
Motorways) Act 1974, motorways theoretically existed independently to
national roads, however the short sections of motorway opened during
this act, except for the M50, always took their number from the
national road that they were bypassing. The older road was not
downgraded at this point (indeed, regional roads were not legislated
for at this stage). Older signage at certain junctions on the M7 and
M11 can be seen reflecting this earlier scheme, where for example N11
and M11 can be seen coexisting.
The M50, an entirely new national road, is an exception to the normal
inheritance process, as it does not replace a road previously carrying
an N number. The M50 was nevertheless legislated in 1994 as the N50
route (it had only a short section of non-motorway section from the
Junction 11 Tallaght to Junction 12 Firhouse until its
extension as the Southern Cross Motorway). The M50's designation was
chosen as a recognisable number. As of 2010, the N34 is the next
unused national primary road designation. In theory, a motorway in
Ireland could form part of a regional road.
Sign on a Swiss
Autostrada (A2/E35 near Lugano, Switzerland)
In Hungary, similar to Ireland, motorway numbers can be derived from
the original national highway numbers (1–7), with an M prefix
attached, e.g. M7 is on the route of the old
Highway 7 from Budapest
Lake Balaton and Croatia. New motorways not following the
original Budapest-centred radial highway system get numbers M8, M9,
etc., or M0 in the case of the ring road around Budapest.
Also in the Netherlands, motorway numbers can be derived from the
original national highway numbers, but with an A (Autosnelweg) prefix
attached, like A9.
Germany federal motorways have the prefix A (Autobahn). If the
following number is an odd number the motorway generally follows a
north–south direction, even-numbered motorways generally follow an
east–west direction. Other controlled-access (dual carriageways) in
Germany can be federal highways (Bundesstraßen), state highways
(Landesstraßen), district highways (Kreisstraßen) and city highways
(Stadtstraßen), each with their own numbering system.
In New Zealand, as well as in the Scandinavian countries, in Finland,
Brazil and Russia, motorway numbers are also derived from the state
highway route that they form a part of, but unlike
Ireland, they are not distinguished from non motorway sections of the
same state highway route. In the cases where a new motorway acts as a
bypass of a state highway route, the original state highway is either
stripped of that status or renumbered. A low road number means a road
suitable for long distance driving. In
Switzerland as of April 2011,
there are 1,763.6 kilometres (1,095.9 mi) of a planned 1,893.5
kilometres (1,176.6 mi) of motorway completed. The country is
mountainous with a high proportion of tunnels, there are 220 totaling
200 kilometres (120 mi), which is over 12% of the total motorway
In Australia, motorway numbering varies from state to state. Currently
most states are adopting numbering systems with the prefix M for
In Belgium, motorways but also some dual carriageways have numbers
preceded by an A. However, those that also have an E-number are
generally referenced with that one. City ring and bypasses have
numbers preceded by an R, these also can be either motorways or dual
While the design characteristics listed above are generally applicable
around the globe, every jurisdiction provides its own specifications
and design criteria for controlled-access highways.
See also: Trans-African
The motorways and expressways of Morocco are a network of
multiple-lane, high-speed, controlled-access highways in Morocco.
As of November 2016 the total length of Morocco's motorways is 1,785
kilometres (1,109 mi) and 1,600 kilometres (990 mi)
expressways. Morocco plans to expand the road network. In the country
3,400 kilometres (2,100 mi) of motorways and 2,100 kilometres
(1,300 mi) of expressways are currently under construction in
different parts of the country.
In the year 2035 the total length of the motorways will be 5,185
kilometres (3,222 mi) of motorways and 3,700 kilometres
(2,300 mi) of expressways. According to the minister of Morocco,
this plan also includes a program specific to rural roads for the
construction of 30,000 kilometres (19,000 mi) of roads for an
investment of 30 billion dirhams.
Main article: Transport in South Africa
In South Africa, the term freeway differs from most other parts of the
world. A freeway is a road where certain restrictions apply. The
following are forbidden from using a freeway:
a vehicle drawn by an animal;
a pedal cycle (such as a bicycle);
a motorcycle having an engine with a cylinder capacity not exceeding
50 cm3 or that is propelled by electrical power;
a motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle;
Drivers may not use hand signals on a freeway (except in emergencies)
and the minimum speed on a freeway is 60 km/h (37 mph).
Drivers in the rightmost lane of multi-carriageway freeways must move
to the left if a faster vehicle approaches from behind to overtake.
Despite popular opinion that "freeway" means a road with at least two
carriageways, single carriageway freeways exist, as is evidenced by
the statement that "the roads include 1,400 km [870 mi]
of dual carriageway freeway, 440 km [270 mi] of single
carriageway freeway and 5,300 km [3,300 mi] of single
carriage main road with unlimited access."
Main article: Brazilian
Highway system of São Paulo
Rodovia dos Imigrantes, São Paulo
Although some 11,000 kilometres (6,800 mi) of Brazilian highway
is built to motorway-standard, there is no distinct designation for
controlled-access highways in the Brazilian federal and state highway
systems. The term autoestrada (Portuguese for "motorway") is not
commonly used in Brazil; the terms estrada ("road") and especially
rodovia ("highway") are instead preferred. Nevertheless, the most
technically advanced motorways in
Brazil are defined Class 0 motorways
by the National Department of Transport Infrastructure (DNIT). These
motorways are built to safely allow for vehicular speeds of up to
130 km/h (81 mph)). In mountainous terrain, the maximum
allowable gradient is 5% and minimum allowable radius of curvature is
665 metres (2,182 ft) (with 12% super-elevation).
São Paulo state, with 4,700 kilometres (2,900 mi) of motorway,
has the most in the country. It is also the state with more highways
conceded to the private sector, resulting in the highest value of toll
fares per kilometer of highway.
Brazil's first motorway, the Rodovia Anhanguera, was completed in 1953
as an upgrade of the earlier single-carriageway highway. That same
year, construction of the second carriageway of Rodovia Anchieta
Motorway construction, most projects in the form of upgrades of
older single-carriageway highways, quickened in the following decades.
The current Class 0 motorways include: Rodovia dos Bandeirantes,
Rodovia dos Imigrantes, Rodovia Castelo Branco, Rodovia Ayrton
Senna/Carvalho Pinto, Rodovia Osvaldo Aranha (also known as
"Free-way") and São Paulo's Metropolitan Beltway Rodoanel Mario Covas
– all modern, post-1970s highways meeting modern European standards.
Other stretches of highway such as the under-construction south BR-101
Rodovia Régis Bittencourt
Rodovia Régis Bittencourt are of older design standards.
Main article: Numbered highways in Canada
Canada has no current national system for controlled-access highways.
All controlled-access freeways, including sections that form part of
Canada Highway, are under provincial jurisdiction, and have
no numeric continuation across provincial boundaries. The largest
networks in the country are in
Ontario (400-series highways) and
Quebec (Autoroutes of Quebec). These roads are influenced by, and have
influenced, US standards, but have design innovations and differences.
The total length of dual-carriageways with controlled access in Canada
is 6,350 kilometres (3,950 mi), of which 564 kilometres
(350 mi) are in British Columbia, 642 kilometres (399 mi) in
Alberta, 59 kilometres (37 mi) in Saskatchewan, 2,135 kilometres
(1,327 mi) in Ontario, 1,941 kilometres (1,206 mi) in
Quebec, and 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) in the Maritimes.
Main article: Transport in El Salvador
The RN-21 (East–West,
Boulevard Monseñor Romero), is the very first
freeway to be built in
El Salvador and in Central America. The freeway
passes the northern area of the city of Santa Tecla, La Libertad. It
has a small portion serving Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, and
merges with the RN-5 (East–West,
Boulevard de Los Proceres/Autopista
del Aeropuerto) in San Salvador. The total length of the RN-21 is 9.35
kilometres (5.81 mi) and is currently working as a traffic
reliever in the metropolitan area. The RN-21 was named in honor of the
first mayor of San Salvador, Diego de Holguín, due to political
reasons it was renamed
Boulevard Monseñor Romero, in honor of Óscar
Romero. The first phase of the highway was completed in 2009, and the
second phase was completed and opened in November 2012.
See also: Interstate
In the United States, a freeway is defined by the federal government's
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as a divided highway with
full control of access. This means two things. First, adjoining
property owners do not have a legal right of access, meaning all
existing driveways must be removed and access to adjacent private
lands must be blocked with fences or walls; instead, frontage roads
provide access to properties adjacent to a freeway in many places.
Second, traffic on a freeway is "free-flowing". All cross-traffic (and
left-turning traffic) is relegated to overpasses or underpasses, so
that there are no traffic conflicts on the main line of the highway,
which must be regulated by traffic lights, stop signs, or other
traffic control devices. Achieving such free flow requires the
construction of many overpasses, underpasses, and ramp systems. The
advantage of grade-separated interchanges is that freeway drivers can
almost always maintain their speed at junctions since they do not need
to yield to vehicles crossing perpendicular to mainline traffic.
In contrast, an expressway is defined as a divided highway with
partial control of access. Expressways may have driveways and
at-grade intersections, though these are usually less numerous than on
ordinary arterial roads.
Interstate 5 (I-5) in Los Angeles
This distinction was apparently first developed in
1949 by the
Special Committee on Nomenclature of what is now the
American Association of State
Highway and Transportation
Officials. In turn, the definitions were incorporated into
AASHTO's official standards book, the Manual on Uniform Traffic
Control Devices, which would become the national standards book of
USDOT under a 1966 federal statute. The same distinction has also been
codified into the statutory law of eight states: California,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North
Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
However, each state codified the federal distinction slightly
California expressways do not necessarily have to be
divided, though they must have at least partial access control. For
both terms to apply, in Wisconsin, a divided highway must be at least
four lanes wide; and in Missouri, both terms apply only to divided
highways at least 16 kilometres (10 mi) long that are not part of
Highway System. In
North Dakota and Mississippi,
expressways may have "full or partial" access control and "generally"
have grade separations at intersections; a freeway is then defined as
an expressway with full access control. Ohio's statute is similar, but
instead of the vague word generally, it imposes a requirement that 50%
of an expressway's intersections must be grade-separated for the term
to apply. Only
Minnesota enacted the exact MUTCD definitions, in
The term expressway is also used for what the federal government calls
"freeways". Where the terms are distinguished, freeways can be
characterized as expressways upgraded to full access control, while
not all expressways are freeways.
Examples in the
United States of roads that are technically
expressways (under the federal definition), but contain the word
"freeway" in their names: State Fair Freeway in Kansas, Chino Valley
Freeway in California,
Rockaway Freeway in New York, and Shenango
Valley Freeway (a portion of US 62) in Pennsylvania.
Unlike in some jurisdictions, not all freeways in the US are part of a
single national freeway network (although together with non-freeways,
they form the National
Highway System). For example, many state
highways such as
California State Route 99 have significant freeway
sections. Many sections of the older
United States Numbered Highways
network have been upgraded to freeways but have kept their existing US
Highway numbers.
British overseas territories
Leeward Highway, Turks and Caicos Islands, UK
A number of the United Kingdom's overseas territories have
controlled-access highways, including the
Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands and
Main article: Expressways of China
Map of the National Expressway Network of China
Chinese expressway, complete with signage. Shown here is the G106
Jingkai Expressway section) in southern Beijing. The Chinese
expressway network has increased ten-fold since 1999 and as of 2012
was the largest in the world. (Summer 2004 image)
The National Trunk
Highway System (NTHS, Chinese:
中国国家高速公路网, literally "National Expressway Network")
expressway network of the
People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China is the longest in
the world. The total length of China's expressways was 111,950
kilometres (69,560 mi) by the end of 2014. Only in 2012,
12,409 kilometres (7,711 mi) of expressways were added to this
China are a fairly recent addition to a complicated
network of roads. According to Chinese government sources,
not have any expressways before 1988. One of the earliest
expressways nationwide was the
Jingshi Expressway between
Hebei province. This expressway now forms part of the
Jingzhu Expressway, currently one of the longest expressways
nationwide at over 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi).
Main article: Hong Kong Strategic Route and Exit Number System
In Hong Kong major motorways are numbered from 1 to 10 in addition to
their names. Speed limits on expressways typically range from 70 to
110 km/h (43 to 68 mph).
This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to
reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2017)
Main article: Expressways in India
India has about 1,455.4 km (904.3 mi) of expressways.
Pictured is a section of the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway
Mumbai-Pune Expressway as seen from atop the Sahyadris
Expressways(known as "Gatimarg/गतिमार्ग", or
Hindi and other Indian languages) are the highest class
of roads in India's road network and make up around 1,500 kilometres
(930 mi) of the National
Highway System. They have a minimum of
six or eight-lane controlled-access highways where entrance and exit
is controlled by the use of slip roads. India has seen a surge of
rapid expansion and modernisation of its road network, consisting of
State Highways, National Highways and Expressways, under successive
Governments. As of 2015, approximately 1,712.4 kilometres
(1,064.0 mi) of expressways are operational in India. Currently,
the National Highways Development Project(NHDP) aims to expand the
highway network and plans to add an additional 18,637 km
(11,580 mi) of expressways by the year 2022. The Expressways
are operated and maintained by the Union, through the National
Highways Authority of India. In 2009, the
Government of India
Government of India proposed
the National Expressways Authority of India(NEAI) to be a body,
operating under the
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which will
be in charge of the construction and maintenance of expressways.
The Ministry is in the process of preparing a draft for creation of a
National Expressways Authority of India (NEAI) on the lines of the
National Highways Authority of India
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The National Highways Network in India, is managed and maintained by
agencies of the Government of India. Currently India has 71,000
kilometres (44,000 mi) of National Highways out of which more
than 16,000 kilometres (9,900 mi) are four- or six-laned and the
remaining 55,000 kilometres (34,000 mi) are two-laned.
The national highway system of India consists of approximately
10,000 km (6,200 mi) of four-laned highways that collect
tolls from users but do not have control of access and cannot be
called expressways. Currently, a massive project is underway to expand
the highway network and the
Government of India
Government of India plans to add an
additional 18,637 km (11,580 mi) of expressways to the
network by the year 2022 with 3,530 km (2,190 mi) to
come up by 2015.[needs update]
In July 2017, The
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proposed a
greenfield access-controlled expressways network across India. Study
was conducted on identifying stretches on which new expressways can be
constructed. But, as of now no further action has been taken on the
National Expressways Network report.
Main article: List of toll roads in Indonesia
Bali Mandara Toll Road, in Bali, Indonesia
In Indonesia, an expressway is better known as a
Toll Road simply the
translation from Jalan Tol in Bahasa Indonesia. Indonesia has 1,710
kilometres (1,060 mi) expressway length so far, almost 70% of its
expressways are in Java island.
In 2009, the Indonesian government had planned to expand more
expressway network in Java island by connecting Merak to Banyuwangi
which is the total length of Trans-Java toll road including the Java
big cities expressway such as Jakarta, Surabaya,
Bandung and its
complements is more than 1,000 kilometres (620 mi). The
Indonesian government also had planned to build the Trans-Sumatra toll
road that connects
Banda Aceh to Bakauheni along 2,700 kilometres
(1,700 mi). In 2012, the government will allocate 150 trillion
rupiah for the construction of the toll roads. There are three stages
of construction of Trans-Sumatra toll road which is expected to be
connected together in 2025. The other islands in Indonesia such as
Sulawesi also has begun constructed its expressways
Sulawesi and also Pontianak
Balikpapan in Kalimantan. However, there are still no plans to
build an expressway in
Western New Guinea
Western New Guinea due to its slow population
growth. Indonesia is expected to have at least 7,000 kilometres
(4,300 mi) of expressway in 2030.
Indonesia didn't acknowledge or observe any highway numbering.
Main article: Freeways in Iran
The history of freeways in Iran goes back to before the Iranian
Revolution. The first freeway in Iran was built at that time, between
Tehran and Karaj with additional construction and the studies of many
other freeways started as well. Today Iran has about 2,160 kilometres
(1,340 mi) of freeway.
See also: List of highways in Israel
Controlled-access highways in Israel are designated by a blue colour.
Blue highways are completely grade-separated but may include bus stops
and other elements that may slow down traffic on the right lane.
Hokkaidō Expressway in Japan
Main article: Expressways of Japan
National expressways (高速自動車国道, Kōsoku Jidōsha Kokudō)
make up the majority of controlled-access highways in Japan. The
network boasts an uninterrupted link between
Aomori Prefecture at the
northern part of
Kagoshima Prefecture at the southern part
of Kyūshū, linking
Shikoku as well. Additional expressways serve
Hokkaidō and on Okinawa Island, although those are not
connected to the Honshū-Kyūshū-
Shikoku grid. Expressways have a
combined length of 8,050 kilometres (5,000 mi) as of April
Main article: Expressways in South Korea
Expressways in South Korea
Gyeongin Expressway linking
Incheon opened in 1968,
national expressway system in
South Korea has been expanded into 36
routes, with total length of 4,481 kilometres (2,784 mi) as of
2017. Most of expressways are four-lane roads, while 1,030 kilometres
(640 mi) (26%) have six to ten lanes.
Speed limit is typically
100 km/h (62 mph) for routes with four or more lanes, while
some sections having fewer curves have limit of 110 km/h
Expressways in South Korea
Expressways in South Korea were originally numbered in order of
construction. Since 24 August 2001, they have been numbered in a
scheme somewhat similar to that of the Interstate
Highway System in
the United States. Furthermore, the symbols of the South Korean
highways are similar to the US red, white and blue.
Arterial routes are designated by two-digit numbers, with north-south
routes having odd numbers, and east-west routes having even numbers.
Primary routes (i.e. major thoroughfares) have 5 or 0 as their last
digit, while secondary routes end in other digits.
Branch routes have three-digit route numbers, where the first two
digits match the route number of an arterial route. This differs from
the American system, whose last two digits match the primary route.
Belt lines have three-digit route numbers where the first digit
matches the respective city's postal code. This also differs from
Route numbers in the range 70–99 are not used in South Korea; they
are reserved for designations in the event of Korean reunification.
The Gyeongbu Expressway kept its Route 1 designation, as it is South
Korea's first and most important expressway.
Main article: Malaysian Expressway System
Sungai Long exit, Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway,
Malaysian Expressway System
Malaysian Expressway System (Malay: Sistem Lebuhraya Malaysia),
which begins with the North–South Expressway (NSE), is currently in
the process of being substantially developed. These expressways are
built by private companies under the supervision of the government
highway authority, Malaysian
The expressway network of
Malaysia is considered the best expressway
Southeast Asia and also in
also the fifth in the world. They were 30 expressways in the country
and the total length is 1,821 kilometres (1,132 mi). and
another 219.3 kilometres (136.3 mi) is still under construction.
The closed toll expressway system is similar to the Japanese
Expressway System and Chinese Expressway System. All Malaysian toll
expressways are controlled-access highway and managed in the
Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) system.
Malaysian expressways exist in both West
Malaysia and East Malaysia,
however, the former are better-connected. The North–South Expressway
passes through all the major cities and conurbations in West Malaysia,
such as Penang, Ipoh, the
Klang Valley and Johor Bahru. The Pan Borneo
Highway connects the Malaysian states of
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Motorways of Pakistan
Motorways of Pakistan and Expressways of Pakistan
The motorways of Pakistan and expressways of Pakistan are a network of
multiple-lane, high-speed, limited-access or controlled-access
highways in Pakistan, which are owned, maintained and operated
federally by Pakistan's National
Highway Authority. The total length
of Pakistan's motorways and expressways is 1,670 kilometres
(1,040 mi) as of November 2016. Around 3,690
kilometres (2,290 mi) of motorways are currently under
construction in different parts of the country. Most
of these motorway projects will be complete between 2018 and
Roadmap of Pakistan's National Highways and Motorways
Pakistan's motorways are part of Pakistan's National Trade Corridor
project that aims to link Pakistan's three
Arabian Sea ports of
Port Qasim and
Gwadar to the rest of the country. These would
further link with Central
Asia and China, as proposed in the China
Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Pakistan's first motorway, the M2, was inaugurated in November 1997;
it is a 367-kilometre-long (228 mi), six-lane motorway that links
Pakistan's federal capital, Islamabad, with Punjab's provincial
capital, Lahore. Other completed motorways and
expressways are M1 Peshawar–
Islamabad Motorway, M3 Pindi–Faislabad
Motorway, E13 Islamabad≠–Murree–Kashmir Expressway, M4
Faisalabad–Multan Motorway, M8 Ratadero–Gawader Motorway, E8
Islamabad Expressway and few others.
Main article: Expressways of the Philippines
See also: List of Expressways in the Philippines
Full control-access highways in the Philippines are referred to as
expressways as the term freeway or motorway is almost never used.
Main article: Expressways of Singapore
Bukit Timah Expressway
Bukit Timah Expressway in Singapore
The expressways of
Singapore are special roads that allow motorists to
travel quickly from one urban area to another. All of them are dual
carriageways with grade-separated access. They usually have three to
four lanes in each direction, although there are two-lane carriageways
at many expressway—expressway intersections and five-lane
carriageways in some places. There are ten expressways, including the
new Marina Coastal Expressway. Studies about the feasibility of
additional expressways are ongoing.
Construction on the first expressway, the Pan Island Expressway,
started in 1966. As of 2014[update], there are 163 kilometres
(101 mi) of expressways in Singapore.
The Singaporean expressway networks are connected with Malaysian
expressway networks via
Ayer Rajah Expressway
Ayer Rajah Expressway (connects with the
Second Link Expressway
Second Link Expressway via the Malaysia–
Singapore Second Link) and
Bukit Timah Expressway
Bukit Timah Expressway (connects with the Eastern Dispersal Link via
Main article: Expressways of Sri Lanka
The Southern Expressway (E01) in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka currently has over 150 kilometres (93 mi) of designated
expressways serving the southern part of the country. The first stage
of the E01 Expressway (Southern Expressway) which opened in 2011 was
Sri Lanka's first expressway spanning a distance of 95.3 kilometres
(59.2 mi). The second stage of the Southern Expressway opened in
2014 and extends to Matara. The E03 Expressway (Colombo–Katunayake
Expressway) opened in 2013 and connects Sri Lanka's largest city
Colombo with the Bandaranaike International Airport covering a
distance of 25.8 kilometres (16.0 mi). All E-Grade highways in
Sri Lanka are access controlled, toll roads with speeds limits in the
range of 80–110 km/h (50–68 mph). The network is to be
expanded to 350 kilometres (220 mi) by 2019.
Operational (fully or partially) :
Colombo Metropolitan expressway (
Colombo Fort to Peliyagoda,
Colombo with the E03 expressway (Sri Lanka)
Main article: Thai motorway network
Motorway interchange in Makkasan, Bangkok
Thai motorway network
Thai motorway network is an intercity motorway network that spans
145 kilometres (90 mi). It is to be extended to over 4,000
kilometres (2,500 mi) according to the master plan.
Thailand's motorway network is considered to be separate from
Thailand's expressway network, which is the system of usually elevated
expressways within Greater Bangkok. Thailand also has a provincial
The Thai highway network spans over 70,000 kilometres (43,000 mi)
across all regions of Thailand. These highways, however, are often
dual carriageways with frequent u-turn lanes and intersections slowing
down traffic. Coupled with the increase in the number of vehicles and
the demand for a limited-access motorway, the Thai Government issued a
Cabinet resolution in 1997 detailing the motorway construction master
plan. Some upgraded sections of highway are being turned into a
"motorway", while other motorways are being purpose-built.
Although roads are under the responsibility of each individual state,
including within the European Union, there are some legal conventions
(international treaties) and some European directives which give a
legal framework for roads of a European importance with the goal to
introduce some kind of homogenization between various members. They
basically consider, at European level, three types of roads:
motorways, express roads, and ordinary roads.
Some European treaties also define aspects such as the range of speed
limit, or for some geometric aspects of roads, in particularly for the
International E-road network.
According to Eurostat:
A motorway is a road specially designed and built for motor vehicle
traffic, which does not directly provide access to the properties
bordering on it.
Other characteristics of motorways include:
two separated carriageways for the opposing directions of traffic,
except at special points or, temporarily, due to carriageway repairs
carriageways that are not crossed at the level of the carriageway by
any other road, railway or tramway track, or footpath; and
the use of special signposting to indicate the road as a motorway and
to exclude specific categories of road vehicles and/ or road users.
In determining the extent of a motorway its entry and exit lanes are
included irrespective of the location of the motorway signposts. Urban
motorways are also included in this term.
Motorways status is signaled at the entry and exit of the motorway by
a symbol conforming to international agreements, but specific to each
United Kingdom, Ireland
The peripheral northern and eastern regions of the EU have a lower
density motorway network. Within the European Union, there are 26
regions (NUTS level 2) with no motorway network in 2013. Those regions
are islands or remote regions, for instance four overseas French
regions and Corsica. The Baltic member state of Latvia, as well as
four regions from Poland, and two regions from each of
Romania also reported no motorway network; several of these regions
bordered onto non-member neighbouring countries to the east of the
Main article: Highways in Albania
Current map of Albanian motorways
Highways in Albania
Highways in Albania form part of the recent Albanian road system.
Following the collapse of communism in 1991, the first highways in
Albania stated being constructed, The first was SH2, connecting Tirane
with Durrës via Vora. Since the 2000s, main roadways have drastically
improved, though lacking standards in design and road
safety. This involved the construction of new roadways and
the putting of contemporary signs. However, some state roads continue
to deteriorate from lack of maintenance while others remain
Highway in Northern Albania connecting Albania with
Tunnel on the A3 Tirana - Elbasan
A2 Fier - Vlore known as the Independence Highway
Main article: Autobahns of Austria
A map of the Austrian
Autobahn and Schnellstraße system. Blue =
Autobahn, Green = Schnellstraße, Dotted = planned or under
The Austrian autobahns (German: Autobahnen) are controlled-access
highways in Austria. They are officially called Bundesstraßen A
(Bundesautobahnen) under the authority of the Federal Government
according to the Austrian Federal
(Bundesstraßengesetz), not to be confused with the former
Bundesstraßen highways maintained by the Austrian states since 2002.
Austria currently has 18 Autobahnen, since 1982 built and maintained
by the self-financed ASFiNAG stock company in Vienna, which is wholly
owned by the Austrian republic and earns revenue from road-user
charges and tolls. Each route bears a number as well as an official
name with local reference, which however is not displayed on road
signs. Unusually for European countries, interchanges (between
motorways called Knoten, "knots") are numbered by distance in
kilometres starting from where the route begins; this arrangement is
also used in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, and most
Canada (and in most American states, albeit in miles).
The current Austrian
Autobahn network has a total length of 1,720
kilometres (1,070 mi).
Autobahn near Innsbruck
A22 Donauuferautobahn, near the exit Floridsdorfer Brücke
Main article: List of motorways in Belgium
In 1937, the first motorway between
Ostend was completed,
following the example of neighboring countries such as Germany. It
mainly served local industries and tourism as a connection between the
capital city and a coastal region. However, the
Second World War
Second World War and
the reparation of the complete road network after the war caused a
serious delay in the creation of other motorways. In 1949, the first
plans were made to build a complete motorway network of 930 kilometres
(580 mi) that would be integrated with the neighboring networks.
Although the plans were ready, the construction of the motorway
network was much slower than in neighboring countries because the
project was deemed not to be urgent.
Because of economic growth in the 1960s, more citizens could afford
cars, and the call for good-quality roads was higher than ever before.
In each year between 1965 and 1973, over 100 kilometres (62 mi)
of motorway were built. At the end of the 1970s, the construction of
motorways slowed down again due to costs, combined with an economic
crisis, more expensive fuel and changing public opinion. In the
following years, the only investments done were to complete already
started motorway constructions. But most important cities were already
connected. In 1981, the responsibilities for construction and
maintenance of the motorways shifted from the federal to the regional
governments. This sometimes caused tensions between the governments.
For example, the part of the ring road around
Brussels that crosses
Wallonian territory has never been finished, since only Flanders
suffers from the unfinished ring.
Belgium today has the longest total motorway length per area unit of
any country in the world. Most motorway systems in
Belgium have at least three lanes in each direction. Nearly all
motorways have overhead lighting including those in rural areas. The
dense population of
Belgium and the still unfinished state of some
motorways, such as the ring roads around
major traffic congestion on motorways. On an average Monday morning in
2012, there was a total of 356 kilometres (221 mi) of
traffic jams and the longest traffic jam of the year was 1,258
kilometres (782 mi), purely on the motorways.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina has more than 40 kilometres (25 mi) of
highway, which connects Kakanj-Sarajevo. There is a plan to build
highway on Corridor Vc, which will go from river Sava, across Doboj,
Mostar to Adriatic Sea. Next sections are Kakanj-Drivuša
16 km, Zenica Sjever-Drivuša 11 km, Svilaj-Odžak
11 km, Vlakovo-Tarčin 20 km, Počitelj-Bijača 21 km.
Main article: Highways in Bulgaria
Bulgaria defines two types of highways: motorways
(Aвтомагистрала, Avtomagistrala) and expressways
(Скоростен път, Skorosten pat). The main differences are
that motorways have emergency lanes and the maximum allowed speed
limit is 140 km/h (87 mph), while expressways do not have
emergency lanes and the speed limit is 120 km/h (75 mph). As
of January 2016[update], 773 kilometres (480 mi) of
motorways are in service, with another 40 kilometres (25 mi)
under various stages of construction. More than 100 kilometres
(62 mi) are planned. Also, several expressways are planned.
Main article: Highways in Croatia
The primary high-speed motorways in
Croatia are called autoceste
(Croatian pronunciation: [ˈaʊtotsesta]; singular: autocesta),
and they are defined as roads with at least three lanes in each
direction (including hard shoulder) and a speed limit of not less than
80 kilometres per hour (50 mph).
Czech motorway network
Main article: Highways in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has currently (2016) 1,247 kilometres (775 mi)
of motorways (dálnice) whose speed limit is 130 kilometres per hour
(81 mph) (or 80 kilometres per hour [50 mph] within a town).
The total length should be 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) around
2030. The number of a motorway (in red) copies the number of the
national route (in blue) which has been replaced by the motorway.
There are also roads for motorcars (silnice pro motorová vozidla).
Those common roads are not subject to a fee (in form of vignette) for
vehicles with total weight up to 3.5 tonnes (3.4 long tons; 3.9 short
tons) and their high speed limit, if they have divided dual
carriageways, may reach 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph),
partially up to 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph).
Main article: Motorways in Denmark
Denmark has a well covered motorway system today, which has been
difficult to build due to the county's geography with many islands.
The longest bridges are the Great Belt and the Øresund bridges to
Skåne (Scania) in southern Sweden. Both are motorways with dual
electrical train tracks added. A motorway tunnel across the Fehmarn
Germany is planned. Around Copenhagen, two ring motorways have
been built. Even roads with fewer than 10,000 vehicles per day
have been built in the most northern part of Jutland. This was done to
assure that all ferry traffic is directed to the motorway system as
soon as possible.
Finland has 863 kilometres (536 mi) of motorway, which is only a
small proportion of the whole highway network. More than half of the
length of the motorway network consists of six radial motorways
originating in Helsinki, to
Kirkkonummi (Länsiväylä), Turku
Tampere (Vt3/E12), Tuusula,
Heinola (Vt4/E75) and Hamina
(Vt7/E18). These roads have a total length of 653 kilometres
(406 mi). The other motorways are rather short sections close to
the biggest cities, often designed to be bypasses. The motorway
section on national roads 4 and 29, between Simo and Tornio, is said
to be the northernmost motorway in the world.
Finnish motorways do not have a separate road numbering scheme.
Instead, they carry national highway numbers. In addition to
signposted motorways, there are also some limited-access two-lane
expressways, and other grade-separated four-lane expressways (perhaps
the most significant example being
Ring III near Helsinki).
Map of French motorways (in yellow) and expressways (in red)
Main article: Autoroutes of France
The Autoroute system in
France consists largely of toll roads, except
around large cities and in parts of the north. It is a network of
11,882 kilometres (7,383 mi) worth of motorways. Autoroute
destinations are shown in blue, while destinations reached through a
combination of autoroutes are shown with an added autoroute logo. Toll
autoroutes are signalled with the word péage (toll).
Cross between A430 motorway and A43 motorway
Toll barrier in Hordain (south of Hordain), on autoroute A2
Main article: Autobahn
German motorways with numbering scheme
Germany's network of controlled-access expressways includes all
federal Autobahnen and some parts of Bundesstraßen and usually no
Landesstraßen (State Highways), Kreisstraßen (District Highways) nor
Gemeindestraßen (municipal highways). The federal
has a total length of 12,917 kilometres (8,026 mi) in 2014,
making it one of the densest networks in the world. The German
autobahns have no general speed limit (though about 47% of the total
length is subject to local and/or conditional limits), but the
advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) is 130 km/h
(81 mph). The lower class expressways usually have speed limits
of 120 km/h (75 mph) or lower.
Motorway (Autobahn) - one of the world's earliest motorways
An autobahn with 4 lanes in each direction of travel for 21 kilometres
(13 mi). The section between Zeppelinheim and Darmstadt is the
The A 3 in 1991
Dynamic traffic signs on an Autobahn.
Map of Greece's motorway network as of 2016. Black=Completed routes,
Blue=Under Construction, Grey=Planned routes
Main article: Highways in Greece
Greece's motorway network has been extensively modernised throughout
the 1980s, 1990s and especially the 2000s, while part of it is still
under construction. Most of it was completed by mid 2017 numbering
around 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) of Motorways, making it the
biggest highway network in Southeastern Europe and the Balkans and one
of the most advanced in Europe.
There are a total of 10 main routes throughout the Greek mainland and
Crete, from which some feature numerous branches and auxiliary routes.
Most important motorways are the A1
Motorway connecting Greece's two
largest cities (
Athens and Thessaloniki), the A2 (Egnatia Odos)
motorway, also known as the "horizontal road axis" of Greece,
connecting almost all of Northern
Greece from west to east and the A8
Athens and Patras. Another important
motorway is the Attiki Odos motorway, the main beltway of the Athens
A2 exit near Kozani
Aerial view of an A6 interchange north of Athens
A1 near Katerini
In Hungary, a controlled-access highway is called an autópálya
Main article: Motorways in the Republic of Ireland
In Ireland the Local Government (Roads and Motorways) Act 1974 made
motorways possible, although the first section, the M7 Naas Bypass,
did not open until 1983. The first section of the M50 opened in 1990,
a part of which was Ireland's first toll motorway, the West-Link.
However it would be the 1990s before substantial sections of motorway
were opened in Ireland, with the first completed motorway—the
83-kilometre (52 mi) M1 motorway—being finished in 2005.
Transport 21 infrastructural plan, motorways or high
quality dual carriageways were built between
Dublin and the major
cities of Cork, Galway,
Waterford by the end of 2010.
Other shorter sections of motorway either have been or will be built
on some other main routes. In 2007 legislation (the Roads Bill 2007)
was created to allow existing roads be designated motorways by order
because previously legislation allowed only for newly built roads to
be designated motorways.
As a result, most HQDCs nationwide (other than some sections near
Dublin on the N4 and N7, which did not fully meet motorway standards)
were reclassified as motorways. The first stage in this process
occurred when all the HQDC schemes open or under construction on the
N7 and N8, and between
Athlone on the N6 and Kilcullen
and south of
Carlow on the N9, were reclassified motorway on 24
September 2008. Further sections of dual carriageway were reclassified
As of December 2011, the
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland has around 1,017
kilometres (632 mi) of motorways.
Main article: Autostrade of Italy
E-roads in Italy
Autostrade (motorways) of Italy
The world's first motorway was the
Autostrada dei laghi, inaugurated
on 21 September 1924 in Milan. It linked
Milan to Varese; it was then
extended to Como, near the border with Switzerland, inaugurated on 28
June 1925. Piero Puricelli, the engineer who designed this new type of
road, decided to cover the expenses by introducing a toll.
Other motorways built before the
Second World War
Second World War in
Naples-Pompeii, Florence-Pisa, Padua-Venice, Milan-Turin,
Brescia and Rome-Ostia.
Type B highways (or strada extraurbana principale), commonly but
unofficially known as superstrada, are divided highways with at least
two lanes for each direction, a paved shoulder on the right, no
cross-traffic and no at-grade intersections. Access restrictions on
such highways are exactly the same as on autostrade, as is the signage
at the beginning and the end of the highway (the only differences
being the background colours and the maximum speed limit: blue instead
of green and 110 kilometres per hour [68 mph] instead of 130
kilometres per hour [81 mph]).
The A14 near Forlì.
Dynamic traffic signs on an Autostrada.
There are two categories of controlled-access highways in Lithuania:
expressways (Lithuanian: greitkeliai) with maximum speed 120 km/h and
motorways (Lithuanian: automagistralės) with maximum speed 130 km/h.
The first section Vilnius–
Kaunas of A1 highway was completed in
Klaipėda section of A1 was completed in 1987.
Panevėžys (A2 highway) was completed in stages during the
1980s and finished in the 1990s. Complete length of the motorway
network is 310 km. Expressway network length - 80 km.
Kaunas and the Polish border is planned to be completed in the
A2 motorway near Taujėnai
Motorway junction with U-turns. A2 motorway near Raguva.
See also: List of motorways in the Netherlands
Dynamic Route Information Panel (DRIP) on Dutch A13 freeway during
evening rush hour
Roads in the
Netherlands include at least 2,758 kilometres
(1,714 mi) of motorways and expressways, and with a motorway
density of 64 kilometres per 1,000 km2
(103 mi/1,000 mi2), the country has one of the densest
motorway networks in the world. About 2,500 kilometres
(1,600 mi) are fully constructed to motorway standards,
These are called Autosnelweg or simply snelweg, and numbered and
signposted with an A and up to three digits, like A12.
They are consistently built with at least two carriageways, guard
rails and interchanges with grade separation. Since September 2012,
the nationwide maximum speed has been raised to 130 km/h
(81 mph), but on many stretches speed is still limited to 120 or
100 km/h (75 or 62 mph). Dutch motorways may only be used by
motor vehicles both capable and legally allowed to go at least
60 km/h (37 mph).
Dutch roads are used with a very high intensity in relation to the
network length and traffic congestion is common, due to the
country's high population density. Therefore, since 1979 large
portions of the motorway network have been equipped with Variable
Message Signs and dynamic electronic displays, both of which are
aspects of intelligent transportation systems. These signs can show a
lower speed limit, as low as 50 km/h (31 mph), to optimize
the flow of heavy traffic, and a variety of other communications.
Additionally there are peak, rushhour or plus lanes, which allow
motorists to use the hard shoulder as an extra traffic lane in case of
congestion. These extra lanes are observed by CCTV cameras from a
traffic control center.
Local and express lanes connected using a basketweave.
Less common, but increasingly, separate roadways are created for local
/ regional traffic and long distance traffic. This way the number of
weaving motions across lanes is reduced, and the traffic capacity per
lane of the road is optimised. A special feature of Dutch motorways is
the use of Porous Asphalt Concrete, which allows water to drain
efficiently, and even in heavy rain no water will splash up, in
contrast to concrete or other road surfaces. The
Netherlands is the
only country that uses PAC this extensively, and the goal is to cover
100% of the motorways with PAC, in spite of the high costs of
construction and maintenance. All in all the
Netherlands has one of
the more advanced motorway networks in the world.
Norway has (2016) 509 kilometres (316 mi) of motorways, in
addition to 427 kilometres (265 mi) of limited-access roads (in
Norwegian motortrafikkvei) where pedestrians, bicycles, etc. are
forbidden, though with a bit lower standard than true motorway. Most
of the network serves the big cities, chiefly
Oslo and Bergen: see
also the E6, E18 and the E39. Most motorways use four-ramp Dumbbell
interchanges, but also
Roundabout interchanges can be found. The first
motorway was built in 1964, just outside Oslo. The motorways' road
pattern layout is similar to those in the US and Canada, featuring a
yellow stripe towards the median, and white stripes between the lanes
and on the edge. The speed limits are 90–110 kilometres per hour
Main article: Highways in Poland
Polish motorway and expressways network. Legend of sections:
The highways in
Poland are divided into motorways and expressways. As
of January 2015, there are 1,553 kilometres (965 mi) of motorways
(autostrady, singular: autostrada) and 1,473 kilometres (915 mi)
of expressways (drogi ekspresowe, singular: droga
Poland are limited-access roads which can be only dual
carriageways. As of May 2013 there were 1,370 kilometres (851 mi)
of motorways in Poland. Additionally, there were also 237 kilometres
(147 mi) of motorways under construction (May 2013).
Poland are limited-access roads which can be dual or
single carriageways. As of May 2013 there were 1,055 kilometres
(656 mi) of expressways in Poland. There were about 440
kilometres (273 mi) of expressways in various stages of
construction. The start of an expressway in
Poland is marked with sign
of white car on blue background, while number sign for an expressway
is of red background and white letters, with the letter S preceding a
On 15 May 2004 the Regulation of the Council of Ministers (on the
network of motorways and express roads) referred to a network of
motorways and expressways in
Poland totaling about 7,200 kilometres
(4,470 mi) (including about 2,000 kilometres (1,240 mi) of
motorways). Regulation from February 2007 added roads S2 and S79
to the list. Regulation from October 2009 supplemented plans with
Main article: Roads in Portugal
Portugal was the third country in Europe—after
Germany—to build a motorway (Portuguese: autoestrada, plural:
autoestradas), opening, in 1944, the Lisbon-
Estádio Nacional section
of the present A5 (Autoestrada da Costa do Estoril).
Additional motorway sections were built in the 1960s, 1970s and early
1980s. However, the large-scale building of motorways started only in
the late 1980s. Currently,
Portugal has a very well-developed network
of motorways, with about a 3,000-kilometre (1,900 mi) extension,
that connects all the highly populated coastal regions of the country
and the main cities of the less populous interior. This means that 87%
of the Portuguese population lives at less than 15 minutes' driving
time from a motorway access.
Most of the Portuguese motorways are tolled, although there are also
some non-tolled highways, mostly in urban areas, like those of Greater
Lisbon and Greater Oporto. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the
Portugal created seven shadow toll concessions, the SCUT
toll (Sem custos para o utilizador, no costs for the user). In those
concessions it were included more than 900 kilometres (560 mi) of
motorways and highways, some of them already built, others which were
built in the following years. However, due to economical and political
reasons, the shadow toll concept was abolished between 2010 and 2011,
with electronic toll equipment being installed in these motorways, to
charge their users. Having only electronic tolls, former SCUT
motorways can now only be used by vehicles equipped with electronic
payment devices or vehicles registered in the system.
Portuguese motorways form an independent network (Rede Nacional de
Motorway Network), that overlaps with the
Fundamental and Complementary subnetworks of the National Highway
Network (Rede Rodoviária Nacional). Each motorway section overlapping
with the Fundamental subnetwork is part of an IP (Itinerário
principal, Principal route) and each motorway section overlapping with
the Complementary subnetwork is part of an IC (Itinerário
complementar, Complementary route). Thus, a motorway can overlap with
sections of different IP or IC routes and - on the other hand - an IP
or IC route can overlap with sections of different motorways. An
example is A22 motorway, which overlaps with sections of IP1 and of
IC4 routes; another example is IP1 route, which overlaps with sections
of the A22, A2, A12, A1 and A3 motorways.
Motorway Network has a proper numbering system in which
each motorway has a number prefixed by the letter "A". In most cases,
a motorway signage indicates only its A number. The number of the IP
or IC of which a motorway section is a part is not signed except in
some short motorways which lack a proper A number.
Republic of Macedonia
Main article: Motorways in the Republic of Macedonia
Macedonian highway map 2016
The total motorway network in Macedonia as of 2016 is 242 kilometres
(150 mi). There are another 132 kilometres (82 mi) being
constructed, so by 2019 the total motorway size will be almost 400
kilometres (250 mi). The two motorway routes are A1 motorway
(Republic of Macedonia), which is part of the European corridor E-75
A2 motorway (Republic of Macedonia)
A2 motorway (Republic of Macedonia) (part of E-65). New stretch is
under construction from Skopje to Stip (A3).
Main article: Highways in Romania
Planned motorways in Romania
The first motorway in Romania was completed in 1972, linking Bucharest
and Pitești. As of July 2015, Romania has 707 kilometres
(439 mi) of motorways in use, with another 176 kilometres
(109 mi) under construction. The Romanian Government has adopted
a General Master Plan for Transport that was approved by the European
Union in July 2015, containing the strategy for expanding the road
(including motorway) network until 2040, using EU funding.
Main article: Motorways in Serbia
Serbian motorway network.
Motorways (Serbian: Аутопут, translit. Autoput) and
expressways (Serbian: Брзи пут, translit. Brzi put) are
the backbone of the road system in Serbia. There are around 1,000
kilometres (620 mi) of motorways in total . Plan is 1,200
kilometres (750 mi) by the end of 2018.
Motorways in Serbia
Motorways in Serbia have three lanes (including emergency lane) in
each direction, signs are white-on-green, as in the rest of former
Yugoslavia and the normal speed limit is 120 kilometres per hour
Expressways, unlike motorways, don't have emergency lanes, signs are
white-on-blue and the normal speed limit is 100 kilometres per hour
As the Serbian word for motorway is "autoput", the "A1", "A2" or "A3"
road designations are used since November 2013. All state roads
categorized as class I, that are motorways currently of in the future,
are marked with one-digit numbers and known as class Ia. All other
roads, which belong to class I, are marked with two-digit numbers and
known as class Ib. Expressways belong to class Ib, too. E-numeration
is also widely used on motorways.
A1/E-75 motorway in Serbia
Main article: Highways in Spain
Map of Spanish autopistas (motorways) and autovías (expressways),
according to their jurisdiction. Blue highways are State-owned, while
orange ones belong to the autonomous communities
The Spanish network of autopistas and autovias has a length of 16,583
kilometres (10,304 mi). Autopistas are specifically reserved for
automobile travel, so all vehicles not able to sustain at least
60 km/h (37 mph) are banned from them. General speed limits
are mandated by the Spanish Traffic Law as 60–120 km/h
(37–75 mph). Specific limits may be imposed based on road,
meteorological or traffic conditions. Spanish legislation requires an
alternate route to be provided for slower vehicles. Many, but not all,
autopistas are toll roads, which also mandates an alternate toll-free
route under the Spanish laws.
The M-40 autopista (motorway) is one of the beltways serving Madrid.
It is one of the few non-toll autopistas of significant length
The A-5 autovía (expressway) near Navalcarnero, Madrid. Note the
mostly nonexistent acceleration lane in the road joining from the
Modern autovías (expressway) such as the A-66 near Guillena, Seville,
offer most, if not all, features that are required by an autopista
Main article: List of motorways in Sweden
Motorway westbound towards Karlskrona
Södra länken Rv-75 ring road in Stockholm
Sweden has the largest motorway network in
kilometres, 1,270 mi). It is, however, unevenly allocated.
Most motorways are located in the south of the country, where the
population density is the highest.
The first motorway in
Sweden opened in 1953, between
Lund and Malmö.
Four-lane expressways had been built before, an early example is E20
Gothenburg and Alingsås, built in the early 1940s. Most of
the current network was built in the 1970s and 1990s.
"E6" - The longest motorway (driving forward, not counting routes by
number) begins at the Swedish/Danish border on the Øresund bridge, it
then continues along the entire Swedish western coast, up to the
Svinesund bridge which is where
Sweden borders to Norway. It has
several route numbers of which E6 is the overwhelmingly most used one,
in daily speak. Its length is close to 600 kilometres (370 mi) on
Swedish territory alone and it connects four of Scandinavia's six
largest cities, Copenhagen, Malmö,
Gothenburg and Oslo
together, as well as around 20 other more or less
notable towns and cities.
A Swedish (partly motorway) route (rather than road) that also has a
significant portion of the Swedish motorway network, is European route
E4, which runs from the border city of
Helsingborg in Scania. E4 is the main route that connects the capital
Scania and the rest of the European continent, via E20
over the Öresund bridge. All of E4 south of the city
Gävle is of
motorway standard, with only the part passing
Ljungby (32 kilometres,
20 mi) left, currently in expressway standard. Upgrade to
motorway standard will start in 2017. The part of E4 that runs
Stockholm is called
Essingeleden and is the busiest
road in Sweden.
Other highways that have a significant portion of motorway standard
are E20, E18 and E22. Motorways in
Sweden are however not restricted
to European routes; so called Riksvägar and other regional road types
can also be of motorway standard. An example of this is
Riksväg 40 is the main link between the largest cities in the
Stockholm and Gothenburg. Notably, not even the majority of
the European route- network in
Sweden is motorway or even have
expressway standard. All of this is because road numbering and road
standard is separate in Sweden, as in the rest of Scandinavia.
Swiss highway network
Main article: Motorways of Switzerland
Main article: List of motorways in Turkey
Motorways (Turkish: Otoyol) of
Turkey are a network in constant
development. Some motorways require toll (using only
mostly six lanes wide, illuminated and with a 120 km/h
(75 mph) speed limit. In 2013, the motorways were 2,155
kilometres (1,339 mi) long in total.
Turkish state road D 750 at Konya junction.
Toros Mountains in the
Otoyol 2 near Ali Sami Yen Stadium, İstanbul
See also: Roads in the United Kingdom
Motorways of the United Kingdom
Motorway near Heathrow Airport
A map Showing Future Pattern of Principal National Routes was issued
Ministry of War Transport in 1946 shortly before the law
that allowed roads to be restricted to specified classes of vehicle
Special Roads Act 1949) was passed. The first section of
motorway, the M6 Preston Bypass, opened in 1958 followed by the
first major section of motorway (the M1 between Crick and Berrygrove
in Watford), which opened in 1959. From then until the 1980s,
motorways opened at frequent intervals; by 1972 the first 1,600
kilometres (1,000 mi) of motorway had been built.
Whilst roads outside of urban areas continued to be built throughout
the 1970s, opposition to urban routes became more pronounced. Most
notably, plans by the
Greater London Council
Greater London Council for a series of ringways
were cancelled following extensive road protests and a rise in
costs. In 1986 the single-ring,
M25 motorway was completed as a
compromise. In 1996 the total length of motorways reached 3,200
kilometres (2,000 mi).
Motorways in Great Britain, as in numerous European countries, will
nearly always have the following characteristics:
No traffic lights (except occasionally on slip roads before reaching
the main carriageway).
Exit is nearly always via a numbered junction and slip road, with rare
Pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles below a specified engine size are
There is a central reservation separating traffic flowing in opposing
directions (the only exception to this is the A38(M) in Birmingham
where the central reservation is replaced by another lane in which the
direction of traffic changes depending on the time of day. There was
another small spur motorway near
Manchester with no solid central
reservation, but this was declassified as a motorway in the 2000s.)
No roundabouts on the main carriageway. (This is only the case on
motorways beginning with M (so called M class)). In the case of
upgraded A roads with numbers ending with M, there are many
roundabouts on the main carriageway. In all M class motorways bar two,
there are no roundabouts except at the point at which the motorway
ends or the motorway designation ends. The only exceptions to this in
Great Britain are:
Southampton which has a roundabout on the main carriageway
where it meets the M27, but then continues as the
M271 after the
junction. This motorway has been criticised as being "illegal", and as
undermining the meaning of an "M Class" motorway..
on the M60. This came about as a result of renumbering sections of the
M62 and M66 motorways near
Manchester as the M60, to form a ring
around the city. What was formerly the junction between the M62 and
M66 now involves the clockwise M60 negotiating a roundabout, while
traffic for the eastbound M62 and northbound M66 carries straight on
from the M60. This junction, known as
Simister Island, has also been
criticised for the presence of a roundabout and the numbered route
Legal authority existed in the
Special Roads Act (Northern Ireland)
1963 similar to that in the 1949 Act. The first motorway to open
was the M1 motorway, though it did so under temporary powers until the
Special Roads Act had been passed. Work on the motorways
continued until the 1970s when the oil crisis and
The Troubles both
intervened causing the abandonment of many schemes.
Main article: Highways in Australia
Australia's major cities, Sydney, Melbourne,
Brisbane and Perth,
feature a network of freeways within their urban areas, while
Hobart and the regional centres of Newcastle,
Geelong, Gold Coast and
Wollongong feature a selection of
limited-access routes. Outside these areas traffic volumes do not
generally demand freeway-standard access, although heavily trafficked
regional corridors such as Sydney–Newcastle (M1 Pacific Motorway
Wollongong (M1 Princes
Motorway (F6)), Brisbane–Gold
Coast (M1 Pacific Motorway), Melbourne–
Geelong (M1 Princes Freeway),
Perth-Mandurah (SR2 Kwinana Freeway) and that form part of major
long-distance routes feature high-standard freeway links.
The M31 Hume Highway/Freeway/
Sydney and Melbourne
and the M23 Federal
Highway spur route that connects
Sydney are the only major interstate highways that are completed to a
continuous dual carriageway standard. In addition, construction on the
A1/M1 Pacific Highway/
underway to upgrade the M1 to freeway standard by 2020. There are also
plans to upgrade the A25 Barton Highway, another spur off the M31 that
Canberra with Melbourne, to a dual carriageway highway.
Although these inter-city highways are dual carriageway they are not
all controlled access highways. Most of these inter-city highways have
driveways to adjacent property and at-grade junctions with smaller
Unlike many other countries, some of Australia's freeways are being
opened to cyclists. As the respective state governments upgrade their
state's freeways, bicycle lanes are being added and/or shoulders
widened alongside the freeways. The state of Queensland is an
exception however, as cyclists are banned from all freeways, including
the breakdown lane.
Main article: List of motorways and expressways in New Zealand
New Zealand encompasses multilane divided
freeways as well as narrower two- to four-lane undivided expressways
with varying degrees of grade separation; the term
the legal traffic restrictions rather than the type of road.
New Zealand's motorway network is small due to the nation's low
population density and low traffic volumes making it uneconomical to
build controlled-access highways outside the major urban centres.
New Zealand's first motorway opened in December 1950 near Wellington,
running from Johnsonville to Tawa. This five-kilometre (3.1 mi)
motorway now forms the southern part of the Johnsonville-Porirua
Motorway and part of State
Highway 1. Auckland's first stretch of
motorway was opened in 1953 between Ellerslie and Mount Wellington
(between present-day exit 435 and exit 438), and now forms part of the
Most major urban areas in
New Zealand feature limited-access highways.
Dunedin contain motorways, with
Auckland having a substantial motorway network.
List of controlled-access highway systems
Canada Roads portal
US Roads portal
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The result of applying such a system to current plans would be the
appropriate numbering of the London–Yorkshire
Motorway as M1, with
provision for extension still further north as required. M.2 would be
reserved for any possible Channel Ports Motorway, the Medway Towns
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Maidstone Bypass A.20(M). M3
would be reserved for a motorway in the direction of
Portsmouth–Southampton, starting with the
Exeter Radial. M.4 would
be applied to the
South Wales Radial. The remaining single figure
numbers would not be required for radials and could therefore,
continuing clockwise, be applied to the Bristol–Birmingham
Motorway—M5 and the Penrith–
Birmingham plus Dunchurch Bypass—M6.
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in brackets to the existing route-number: e.g. A.1(M) for the
Doncaster Bypass. This will preserve the continuity of the
route-number of long-distance all-purpose roads. Generally speaking
by-passes that are eventually linked to form a continuous motorway
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