controlled-access highway

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controlled-access highway
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{{Redirect|Motorway|the 2012 Chinese film|Motorway (film)}}{{redirect|Freeway}}{{Redirect|Control of access|the security concept|Access control}}{{short description|Highway designed exclusively for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow and ingress/egress regulated}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2018}}File:US 131, M-6, 68th St interchange.jpg|thumb|upright=1.35|right|The interchange between US 131, M-6 and 68th Street in Wyoming, Michigan, United States, shows many of the features of controlled-access highways: opposing traffic on separate carriageways, no at-grade intersectionsat-grade intersections(File:Hinweiszeichen 8a.svg|thumb|150px|right|This sign, or some variation thereof, is used to denote controlled-access highways in many countries.)A controlled-access highway is a type of highway that has been designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow ingress- and egress-regulated. Common English terms are freeway (in Australia, South Africa, United States and Canada), motorway (in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Ireland, New Zealand and parts of Australia) and expressway (parts of Canada, parts of the United States, India and many other Asian countries). Other similar terms include Interstate and (wikt:thruway|thruway) (in the United States) 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 that walking and parking are forbidden, and they are reserved for the use of motorized 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 safetyWEB,weblink Wayback Machine, 8 April 2014, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 8 April 2014, and capacity.Controlled-access highways evolved during the first half of the 20th century. Italy opened its first autostrada in 1924, A8, connecting Milan to Varese. Germany began to build its first controlled-access autobahn without speed limits ({{convert|30|km|mi|adj=on}} 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 the 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.

Definition standards

There are several international standards that 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 that does not serve properties bordering on it, and that:
# 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 footpath; and, # Is specially sign-posted as a motorway;WEB,weblink Archived copy, 13 May 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016,
One green or blue symbol (like (File:Freeway in Iran.svg|25px)) appears at motorway entry in countries that follow Vienna Convention. Exit is marked with another symbol: (File:Sweden road sign E2.svg|25px).The definitions of "motorway" from the OECDWEB,weblink OECD, Glossary of Statistical Terms, 26 February 2004, 3 September 2009, live,weblink" title="">weblink 10 August 2011, dmy-all,
and PIARC Dictionary : PIARC Road Dictionary/ English are almost identical.

British Standards
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 toll-free roads.
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 capacity. 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 byhigh 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 collector roads.WEB, COMMON ACCIDENT DATA SET : Reference Guide, Version. 3.4, April 2015,weblink, 18 July 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 June 2016, dmy-all, In this view, CARE's definition stands that a motorway is understood as a 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 motorvehicles, prohibited to pedestrians, animals, pedal cycles, mopeds, agricultural vehicles. The minimum speed is not lower than {{convert|50|km/h|mph|abbr=on|disp=sqbr}} and the maximum speed is not higher than {{convert|130|km/h|mph|abbr=on|disp=sqbr}} (Except 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.Elvik, Vaa, 2004{{full citation needed|date=May 2016}} 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.Eurostat / UNECE / ECMT, 2003{{full citation needed|date=May 2016}} 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.NTUA, 2005{{full citation needed|date=May 2016}}


(File:Mappa storica A8.svg|thumb|right|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 Parkway on 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 tarmac.NEWS, Patton, Phil, 9 October 2008, A 100-Year-Old Dream: A Road Just for Cars, The New York Times, 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 AVUS in 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 Milan and 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 road in 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.NEWS, Built to Meander, Parkway Fights to Keep Measured Pace, The New York Times, 6 June 1995,weblink 13 April 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 14 May 2013, dmy-all, NEWS, Bronx River Parkway On an Endangered List, Roberta, Hershenson, The New York Times, 18 June 1995,weblink 13 April 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 14 May 2013, dmy-all, 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.WEB,weblink German Myth 8 Hitler and the Autobahn,, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 May 2006, dmy-all, In Canada, the first precursor with semi-controlled access was The Middle 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.BOOK, From Footpaths to Freeways, Shragge, John, Bagnato, Sharon, yes, Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Historical Committee, 1984, 55, 978-0-7743-9388-1, 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.BOOK, Thomas L., Karnes, Asphalt and Politics: A History of the American Highway System, Jefferson, NC, McFarland & Co, 2009, 131, BOOK, Jeremy, Korr, Physical and Social Constructions of the Capital Beltway, 'The World Beyond the Windshield: Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe, Christof, Mauch, Thomas, Zeller, yes, Athens, Ohio University Press, 2008, 195, JOURNAL, Edward M., Bassett, The Freeway: A New Kind of Thoroughfare, American City, 42, February 1930, 95, 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.


File:Dolphin and Palmetto Expressway Interchange.jpg|thumb|left|Highway Interchange between Dolphin Expressway and Palmetto Expressway in Greater Miami, Florida, United States ]]File:Highway 401.png|thumb|upright=1.0|Highway 401 in Southern Ontario, Canada. An example of a collector-express freeway design, the route features four carriageways through TorontoToronto(File:autoroute A10 Orléans Ouest.jpg|thumb|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 crossing.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 the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 70 and Interstate 76) through the town of Breezewood, Pennsylvania.NEWS, Manuel, Roig-Franzia, The Town That Stops Traffic: Travelers Encounter Way Station as Way of Life in Breezewood, Washington Post, 22 November 2001, B1, 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 usually start at the southern or westernmost point on the freeway (either its terminus or the state line). California, Ohio and Nevada use postmile systems in which the markers indicate mileage through the state's individual counties. However, Nevada and 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 milepost markers.(File:Ireland Road Lanes.svg|thumb|left|upright=0.7|Diagram showing lanes and road layout (Irish road markings))In Europe and some other countries, a typical motorways is subject to have some similar characteristics such as:
  • A typical design speed in the range of 100-130 km/h
  • Minimum values for horizontal curve radii around 750m to 900m.
  • Maximum longitudinal gradients typically not exceeding 4% to 5%.
  • Cross sections incorporating a minimum of two through-traffic lanes for each direction of travel, with a typical width of 3,50m to 3,75m each, separated by a central median.
  • An obstacle free zone varying from 4,5m to 10m, or alternatively installation of appropriate vehicle restraint systems.
  • Proper design of grade-separated interchanges to provide for the movement of traffic between two or more roadways on different levels.
  • More frequent (compared to other road types) construction of tunnels, requiring complex equipment and methods of operation.
  • Installation of highly efficient road equipment and traffic control devicesweblink

Cross sections

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 from 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 lanesPortions of the Downtown Connector in Atlanta, Georgia have eight lanes in each direction. 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 {{convert|2|mi|km|order=flip|adj=on}} 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 403/Highway 410 and Highway 427.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.BOOK, Texas Department of Transportation,weblink Access Management Manual,weblink Chapter 2, Section 5, live,weblink" title="">weblink 21 July 2011, dmy-all, 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.JOURNAL, Median Barriers Prove Their Worth, Public Works, 123, 3, March 1992, 72–73, 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.{{Citation needed|date=April 2007}}

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 Parkway in Florida.(File:De lucht.jpg|thumb|right|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 of the 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.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 24 December 2005, Arizona Department of Transportation, PGP 1030, Controlled-Access Highways as Bikeways, Wyoming, the least populated state, allows cycling on all freeways. Oregon allows bicycles except on specific urban freeways in Portland and Medford.WEB, OAR Banning Non-Motorized Travel On Some Interstate Freeways in Oregon,weblink Oregon Department of Transportation, 12 October 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 May 2010, 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.WEB, Using the Highway, Your Rights: The Liberty Guide to Human Rights,weblink 18 August 2008, Liberty, 31 January 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 February 2013, dmy-all, 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 {{convert|639|km|mi|adj=mid|-long}} route had five stretches of motorway (designated as A1(M)), reducing to four stretches in March 2018 with completion of the A1(M) through North Yorkshire.Continental European non-motorway dual carriageways typically have limits set at {{convert|110|–|130|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}} for passenger cars.Research shows 85 percent of motor vehicle-bicycle crashes follow turning or crossing at intersections.WEB,weblink Bicycling facts and figures, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 July 2008, dmy-all, 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 crashes in Arizona showed no safety problems with cycling on freeways. Fewer than one motor vehicle-bicycle crash a year was recorded on nearly {{convert|2000|mi|km|order=flip|adj=pre|shoulder}} open to cyclists in Arizona.WEB,weblink Moeur, Richard C., Bicycle–Motor Vehicle Collisions on Controlled Access Highways in Arizona: Analysis from January 1, 1991 to June 30, 2002, Arizona Department of Transportation, October 2002, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2011, dmy-all, {{unreliable source?|date= January 2014}}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.

Construction techniques

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.{{Citation needed|date=May 2012}} 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.(File:Auto put hitna pomoć.jpg|thumb|The Belgrade Urban Motorway, constructed between 1970-1977, required demolitions of streets and houses, characteristical of urban motorways. In Novi Beograd, the motorway path was already laid out, requiring no demolitions.)When a "third" carriageway is added, sometimes it can shift a directional carriageway by {{convert|50|–|200|ft|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 {{convert|100|m|ft}}).

Interchanges and access points

{{more citations needed section|date=February 2019}}An interchange or a junction 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 others make a distinction; for example, Germany uses the word Kreuz ("cross") for the former and Ausfahrt ("exit") for the latter. In all cases one road crosses the other via a bridge or a tunnel, as opposed to an at-grade crossing.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 seldom seen.A few of the more common types of junction are shown below:WEB,weblink Roadway Design Manual, 6: Freeways, March 2010, Texas Department of Transportation, 28 March 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 14 May 2013, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Woodruff Road Corridor Study, Chapter 4*: Interchange Modifications, 2013, 28 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 June 2013, dmy-all, WEB,weblink 13: Motorway Signs, Signals and Road Markings,, Road Signs, 24 April 2012, live,weblink" title="">weblink 29 May 2012, dmy-all, Motorways in Europe typically differ between exits and junctions. An exit leads out of the motorway system, whilst a junction is a crossing between motorways or a split/merge of two motorways. The motorway rules ends at exits, but not at junctions. At not so few bridges, motorways without changing appearance, temporarily ends between the two exits closest to the bridge (or tunnel), and continues as dual carriageways. This is in order to give slower vehicles a possibility to use the bridge.The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge / Dartford tunnel at London Orbital, is an example of this. London Oribital or the M25 is a motorway surrounding London, but at the last River Thames crossing before its mouth, motorway rules don't apply. (At this crossing the London Orbital is labeled A282 instead.){{gallery|width = 200|title = Various interchange layouts|lines=3|+ Killed per 1 billion veh·km! scope="col" | Country! scope="col" | All roads! scope="col" | Motorways! scope="row" | Austria! scope="row" | Belgium! scope="row" | Czech Republic! scope="row" | Denmark! scope="row" | Finland! scope="row" | France! scope="row" | Germany! scope="row" | Slovenia! scope="row" | Switzerland! scope="row" | United States class="sortbottom"
Four-level stack: used as a major junction, usually for freeway junctionsRoundabout interchange: very common in the United Kingdom as either a junction or exitCloverleaf: used mainly as a junctionParclo (partial cloverleaf) interchange: often used to link a minor road with a junctionTrumpet interchange: a motorway "T" junction, common on toll roads as it requires only one tollboothMotorway split or merge. Basic logic resembles the T-junction}}


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.WEB,weblink Introduction: Highway Statistics 2011, Highway Statistics Series, Federal Highway Administration, 21 March 2014, live,weblink" title="">weblink 22 March 2014, According to some EU papers, safety progress on motorways is the result of several changes, including infrastructure safety and road user behavior (speed or seat belt use), while others matters such as vehicle safety and mobility patterns have a not quantified impact.BOOK, Docile, Adminaite, Richard, Allsop, Graziella, Jost, yes, March 2015,weblink Ranking EE Progress on Improving Motorway Safety, European Transport Safety Council, PIN Flash Report 28, 4 July 2018, {{page needed|date= July 2018}}

Motorways compared to other roads

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.PRESS RELEASE, Graziella, Jost, Evgueni, Pogorelov, yes, 19 February 2008, Fate of EU Motorway Safety in Hands of MEPs,weblink European Transport Safety Council, 7 April 2014, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 April 2014, dmy-all, Germany's Federal Highway Research Institute provided International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) statistics for the year 2010, comparing overall fatality rates with motorway rates (regardless of traffic intensity):{| class="wikitable sortable plainrowheaders"
7.32 2.15
8.51 2.87
16.22 3.38
5.65 1.92
5.05 0.61
7.12 1.79
5.18 1.98
7.74 3.77
5.25 1.04
6.87 3.62
The German autobahn network illustrates the safety trade-offs of controlled access highways. The injury crash rate is very low on autobahnsWEB, Traffic and Accident Data: Summary Statistics: Germany, December 2012,weblink Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (Federal Highway Research Institute), 7 April 2014, PDF, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 April 2014, dmy-all, 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.WEB, Unfallentwicklung auf deutschen Straßen 2012, Crashes on German Roads 2012, 10 July 2013,weblink Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistics Office), 23 September 2013, PDF, live,weblink 14 November 2013, dmy-all, According to ESTC, German motorways without a speed limit, but with a {{convert|130|km/h|mph|abbr=on}} speed recommendation, are three times more deadly than motorways with a speed limit.WEB,weblink German minister rules out end to unlimited motorway speeds | ETSC,, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2017, Germany also introduced some {{convert|130|km/h|mph|abbr=on}} 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.WEB, SPEED Fact Sheet, February 2008, 1, German Autobahn: The Speed Limit Debate,weblink {| class="wikitable sortable plainrowheaders"! scope="col" | Road Class! scope="col" | Injury Crashes! scope="col" | Fatalities! scope="col" | Injury Rate*! scope="col" | Fatality Rate*! scope="col" | Fatalities per 1000 Injury Crashes! scope="row" | Autobahn 17,847 387 80 1.7 21.7! scope="row" | Urban 206,696 1,062 1390 5.1 3.7! scope="row" | Rural 75,094 2,151 220 7.6 34.5! scope="row" | Total 299,637 3,600 420 5.0 12.0
  • per 1,000,000,000 travel-kilometres

Causes of accidents

Speed, in Europe, is considered to be one of the main contributory factors to collisions. Some countries, such as France and Switzerland, have achieved a death reduction by a better monitoring of speed. Tools used for monitoring speed might be increase in traffic density, improved speed enforcement and stricter regulation leading to driver license withdrawal, safety cameras, penalty point, and higher fines. Some other countries use automatic time over distance cameras (also known as section controls) to manage speed.Fatigue is considered as a risk factor more specific to monotonous roads such as motorways, although such data are not monitored/recorded in many countries. According to Vinci Autoroutes one third of accidents in French motorways are due to sleepy driving.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 14 May 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 March 2016, In French motorways, 23% of people killed on motorways were not wearing seat belts, while 98% of front-seat passengers and 87% of rear-seat passenger wear seat belts.

Fatalities trends

Although safety results do not change much from year to year, in Europe some changes have been observed: motorways fatalities decreased by 41% during the 2006–2015 decade, but increased by 10% between 2014 and 2015. However, taking into account motorway network length to reflect exposure, data shows that fatalities per thousand kilometres halved between 2006 and 2015.BOOK, European Road Safety Observatory, Traffic Safety Basic Facts 2017: Motorways, June 2017,weblink European Road Safety Observatory, 4 July 2018, {{page needed|date=July 2018}}{| class="wikitable sortable plainrowheaders"|+ EU motorway fatalities! scope="col" | Year! scope="col" | Fatalities! scope="col" | Rate per million population! scope="col" | Rate per 1,000 km of motorways! scope="row" | 2006 3,485 7.1 54.4! scope="row" | 2010 2,329 4.7 32.9! scope="row" | 2015 2,048 4.1 27.3 class="sortbottom" Source: Traffic Safety Basic Facts 2017, Motorways

Toll effect

A 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.JOURNAL, 10.1007/s13209-011-0071-6, Motorways, tolls and road safety: Evidence from Europe, Series, 3, 4, 457–473, 2012, Albalate, Daniel, Bel, Germà,

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.JOURNAL, 10.1136/jech-2016-207378, 27279082, 5541177, Effects of new urban motorway infrastructure on road traffic accidents in the local area: A retrospective longitudinal study in Scotland, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70, 11, 1088–1095, 2016, Olsen, Jonathan R., Mitchell, Richard, MacKay, Daniel F., Humphreys, David K., Ogilvie, David, In particular, new urban motorways do not grant a reduction of traffic accidents.{{citation needed|date=February 2019}}In Italy, a study performed on urban motorway A56 Tangenziale di Napoli showed that reduction of speed leads to a decrease in accidents.JOURNAL, 10.1016/j.aap.2014.11.022, 25482322, Effects on speed and safety of point-to-point speed enforcement systems: Evaluation on the urban motorway A56 Tangenziale di Napoli, Accident Analysis & Prevention, 75, 164–178, 2015, Montella, Alfonso, Imbriani, Lella Liana, Marzano, Vittorio, Mauriello, Filomena, 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:JOURNAL, 10.1016/j.trpro.2015.09.053, Traffic Indicators, Accidents and Rain: Some Relationships Calibrated on a French Urban Motorway Network, Transportation Research Procedia, 10, 31–40, 2015, Aron, Maurice, Billot, Romain, Faouzi, Nour-Eddin EL, Seidowsky, Régine,
  • 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 {{convert|150|km|mi|adj=mid|-long}} 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 vehicle-kilometres.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)
  • Incident management
  • Automated enforcement
  • Specialized algorithms for temporary shoulder running, variable speed limits, and/or incident detection and management
  • Ramp metering (coordinated or independent function)WEB, Freeway Geometric Design for Active Traffic Management in Europe,weblink Federal Highway Administration, March 2011, live,weblink 6 May 2017, {{PD-notice}}
In 1994, it was assumed that lighting urban motorway would benefit from more safety than unlighted ones .WEB,weblink Public Roads - Comparison of The Safety of Lighting Options on Urban Freeways, Autumn 1994, Federal Highway Administration, 31 January 2017, 18 July 2017, live,weblink 4 September 2017, In California, in 2001, a study has established, for urban freeways, some Relationships Among Urban Freeway Accidents, Traffic Flow, Weather and Lighting ConditionsJOURNAL,weblink MOU 3007 report.PDF,, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 9 August 2017, December 2001, Recker, Wilfred W., Golob, Thomas F.,
  • 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 right lane).

Environmental effects

File:Atlanta 75.85.jpg|thumb|right|Traffic congestion, such as this on the Downtown Connector in Atlanta, is tied to photochemical smogphotochemical smogFile:Highway 401 Night Lapse Busy.jpg|thumb|right|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 have a NIMBYNIMBYFile:A1 Motorway tunnel near Agios Konstantinos.JPG|thumb|right|alt=A1 Motorway tunnel near Agios Konstantinos|Tunnel on the A1 Motorway in GreeceGreeceControlled-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,NEWS, Hugo, Martin, Sounding Off On Noise: Freeways' Neighbors Struggle To Drown Out Road Racket, Experts Say The Din Creates Mental And Physical Hazards, Los Angeles Times, 20 April 2003, B1, pollution, and economic shifts they bring.BOOK, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane, Jacobs, Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, {{full citation needed|date=October 2012}}.Additionally, they have been criticized by the driving public for the inefficiency with which they handle peak hour traffic.NEWS, Sandy, McCreery, Don't just sit there, enjoy it!, New Statesman, 23 July 2001, 23, JOURNAL, Martha, Smilgis, Trapped Behind the Wheel: Clever Commuters Learn to Live in the Slow Lane, Time (magazine), Time, 20 July 1987, 64–65, NEWS, Gerard, Coulombe, Doing The Turnpike Crawl, The New York Times, 6 July 1986, CN16, 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.NEWS, Jeffrey, Spivak, Today's Road Opening Represents Progress, Pain, Kansas City Star, 27 July 1999, A1, 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.BOOK, Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1972, S. Rep. No. 1160, 92nd Cong. 2nd session, Subsequently, computer models were developed to analyze freeway noise and aid in their design to help minimize noise exposure.CONFERENCE,weblink C. Michael, Hogan, Gary L., Latshaw, yes, The Relationship between Highway Planning and Urban Noise, Proceedings of the ASCE, Urban Transportation Division Specialty Conference, 21–23 May 1973, Chicago, American Society of Civil Engineers, Urban Transportation Division, live,weblink" title="">weblink 18 May 2007, dmy-all, Some cities have implemented freeway removal policies, under which freeways have been demolished and reclaimed as boulevards or parks, notably in 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 cities of Sydney (which has five such freeways), Brisbane (which has three), and 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 boundaries (the Brisbane River) and rapid population increases, has embraced underground freeways. There are currently three open to traffic (Clem Jones Tunnel (Clem7), Airport Link and 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.WEB,weblink" title="">weblink TransApex - Brisbane City Council, 2007-06-17, 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.WEB, Myth: We need big roads anyway, even for sustainable transport,weblink Public Transport Users Association, 2018-01-22, Victoria, live,weblink 22 January 2018, 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 demand.JOURNAL, Robert, Cervero, Robert Cervero, Road Expansion, Urban Growth, and Induced Travel: A Path Analysis, Journal of the American Planning Association, 69, 2, Spring 2003, 145–164, 10.1080/01944360308976303,weblink Submitted manuscript, NEWS, Hugo, Martin, Will More Freeways Bring More Traffic?, Los Angeles Times, 10 April 2002, B1, 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.JOURNAL, 10.1080/0042098993529, Equal Access? Travel Behaviour Change in the Century Freeway Corridor, Los Angeles, Urban Studies, 36, 3, 547–562, 1999, Van Hengel, Drusilla, Dimento, Joseph, Ryan, Sherry, Still, they may open new markets to some small businesses.BOOK, Christy, Borth, Mankind on the Move: The Story of Highways, Washington, DC, The Automobile Safety Foundation, 1969, 248, 264, Construction of urban freeways for the US Interstate Highway System, 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.JOURNAL, Mohl, Raymond A., The Interstates and the Cities: The US Department of Transportation and the Freeway Revolt, 1966–1973, The Journal of Policy History, 20, 2, 2008, 193–226, 10.1353/jph.0.0014, 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 (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,JOURNAL, Brian D., Taylor, Public Perceptions, Fiscal Realities, and Freeway Planning: The California Case, Journal of the American Planning Association, 61, 1, Winter 1995, 43–59, 10.1080/01944369508975618,weblink Submitted manuscript, and growing popular support for high-speed mass transit in lieu of new freeways.{{Citation needed|date=May 2013}}

Route numbering

United Kingdom

Great Britain

(File:Motorway number zones in England and Wales map.svg|thumb|Motorway number zones of England and Wales)England and WalesIn 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.WEB,weblink How the Motorways Were Numbered, 28 December 2007, November 1961, Department for Transport, Ministry of Transport, Memorandum, Pathetic Motorways, live,weblink" title="">weblink 9 November 2007, 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.WEB,weblink How the Motorways Were Numbered, 28 December 2007, Wykes, C. H., 7 July 1959, Ministry of Transport, Memorandum, Pathetic Motorways, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 November 2007, 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.A map Showing Future Pattern of Principal National Routes was issued by the Ministry of War Transport in 1946 shortly before the law that allowed roads to be restricted to specified classes of vehicle (the 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 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:
  1. No traffic lights (except occasionally on slip roads before reaching the main carriageway).
  2. Exit is nearly always via a numbered junction and slip road, with rare minor exceptions.
  3. Pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles below a specified engine size are banned.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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 (i.e. Ax(M)), roundabouts may exist on the main carriageway where they intersect 'M' class motorways. 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:
    • the M271 in Southampton which has a roundabout on the main carriageway where it meets the M27, but then continues as the M271 after the junction.
    • 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 turning off.
    • the A1(M) between the M62 in North Yorkshire and Washington in Tyne and Wear is built to full 'M' class standards without any roundabouts. It has been suggested this section of the A1(M) 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 England as "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.ScotlandIn Scotland, where the Scottish Office (superseded by the Scottish Executive 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.WEB,weblink How the Motorways Were Numbered, 28 December 2007, Payne, B. A., 10 July 1959, Ministry of Transport, Memorandum, Pathetic Motorways, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 November 2007, 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.Most motorways follow an "M"-format with two exceptions. These are the A823(M) near Rosyth joining the A823 to the M90 and the A74(M) between the English M6 at Gretna and the M74 at Abingdon.

Northern Ireland

In 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.WEB,weblink The Northern Ireland Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly, 10 August 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 December 2008, However motorways, as in the rest of the UK, are numbered M, with the two major motorways coming from 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

File:IMG 3245w.jpg|thumb|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 carriagewayhigh-quality dual carriagewayIn 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).WEB,weblink Roads Act 1993 (Classification of National Roads) Order 2006, Department of Transport (Republic of Ireland), 2006, 8 April 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 December 2008, 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.


File:Loc.-Lugano.PNG|thumb|right|Sign on a Swiss Autostrada (A2/E35 near LuganoLuganoIn 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 towards 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.In 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 Hungary and 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 {{convert|1763.6|km|mi}} of a planned {{convert|1893.5|km|mi}} of motorway completed. The country is mountainous with a high proportion of tunnels, there are 220 totaling {{convert|200|km|mi}}, which is over 12% of the total motorway length.WEB,weblink European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), 7 April 2012, live,weblink 2 June 2013, dmy-all, In Australia, motorway numbering varies from state to state. Currently most states are adopting numbering systems with the prefix M for motorways.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 carriageways.

Regional variation

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.


(File:Map of Trans-African Highways.PNG|right|thumb|upright=1.35|Trans-African Highways){{See also|Trans-African Highway network}}


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 {{convert|1,785|km|mi}} and {{convert|1,600|km|mi}} expressways. Morocco plans to expand the road network. In the country {{convert|3,400|km|mi}} of motorways and {{convert|2,100|km|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 {{convert|5,185|km|mi}} of motorways and {{convert|3,700|km|mi}} of expressways. According to the minister of Morocco, this plan also includes a program specific to rural roads for the construction of {{convert|30,000|km|mi}} of roads for an investment of 30 billion dirhams.

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.Road Traffic Act No 29 of 1989, {{webarchive|url= |date=17 June 2011 }}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;
  • pedestrians
Drivers may not use hand signals on a freeway (except in emergencies) and the minimum speed on a freeway is {{convert|60|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}. 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 {{convert|1,400|km|mi|abbr=on|disp=sqbr}} of dual carriageway freeway, {{convert|440|km|mi|abbr=on|disp=sqbr}} of single carriageway freeway and {{convert|5,300|km|mi|abbr=on|disp=sqbr}} of single carriage main road with unlimited access."WEB, Transportation: Roads, South Africa: Stats and Facts,weblink 15 June 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 27 July 2011, dmy-all,


(File:PanAmericanHwy.png|right|thumb|upright=1.35|PanAmerican Highway)


{{See also|Highway system of São Paulo}}File:Billings_2008051702.jpg|thumb|Rodovia dos Imigrantes, São PauloSão PauloAlthough some {{convert|14000|km|mi}} of Brazilian highwayInfraestrutura rodoviária: estradas paulistas têm padrão internacional 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 {{convert|130|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}). In mountainous terrain, the maximum allowable gradient is 5% and minimum allowable radius of curvature is {{convert|665|m|ft}} (with 12% super-elevation).São Paulo state, with {{convert|5000|km|mi}} of motorway, has the most in the country. It is also the state with more highways conceded to the private sector.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 began. 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 and Rodovia Régis Bittencourt are of older design standards.


Canada has no current national system for controlled-access highways. All controlled-access freeways, including sections that form part of the Trans 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 {{convert|6,350|km|mi}}, of which {{convert|564|km|mi}} are in British Columbia, {{convert|642|km|mi}} in Alberta, {{convert|59|km|mi}} in Saskatchewan, {{convert|2,135|km|mi}} in Ontario, {{convert|1,941|km|mi}} in Quebec, and {{convert|1,000|km|mi}} in the Maritimes.

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 {{cvt|9.35|km}} and is currently working as a traffic reliever in the metropolitan area. Although the RN-21 was to be 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.

United States

{{see also|Interstate Highway System}}(File:I-80.svg|left|64px)(File:I-376.svg|left|64px)(File:National Highway System.jpg|right|thumb|upright=1.35|US Interstate Highway System)In the United States, a freeway is defined by the US government's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as a divided highway with full control of access.BOOK, Section 1A.13, para. 29, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Rev 1, 2003,weblink Federal Highway Administration, live,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2006, dmy-all, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, See also 23 CFR 750.153(k).This means two things: first, adjoining property owners do not have a legal right of access,This part of the word's meaning was codified in 1939 at Section 23.5 of the California Streets and Highways Code.WEB,weblink California Code, 2011-05-30, live,weblink" title="">weblink 27 July 2009, dmy-all, See also People v. Scheinman, 248 Cal. App. 2d 180, 182, 56 Cal. Rptr. 168, 168–169 (1967) (interpreting Section 23.5 to find that a property owner had deeded to the State just the access from the side of his property directly abutting a future freeway but not the access through a connecting road that the state wished to close in order to upgrade an expressway to a freeway).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.BOOK, Section 1A.13, para. 27, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Rev. 1, 2003,weblink live,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2006, dmy-all, Expressways may have driveways and at-grade intersections, though these are usually less numerous than on ordinary arterial roads.File:I-5 north approaching I-10 east split- long view.jpg|thumb|right|Interstate 5 (I-5) in Los AngelesLos AngelesThis distinction was apparently{{Citation needed|date=October 2009}} first developed in 1949 by the Special Committee on Nomenclature of what is now the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.BOOK, AASHO Highway Definitions, Washington DC, American Association of State Highway Officials, 1962, 1–3, Prior to that distinction the first freeways were complete in 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and Arroyo Seco Parkway.BOOK, Karl B., Raitz, George F., Thompson, The National Road,weblink 1996, JHU Press, 978-0-8018-5155-1, 34–, BOOK, Craig, Taylor, Elliott, Mittler, Le Val, Lund, Overcoming Barriers: Lifeline Seismic Improvement Programs,weblink 1998, ASCE Publications, 978-0-7844-7460-0, 173–174, BOOK, Carlos A., Schwantes, Going Places: Transportation Redefines the Twentieth-Century West,weblink 2003, Indiana University Press, 978-0-253-34202-7, 272–273, 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,California Streets & Highways Code § 257. Minnesota,BOOK, Minnesota Statutes, § 160.02, subds. 18b & 19, Mississippi,BOOK, Mississippi Code Annotated, § 65-5-3, subds. (b) and (c), Missouri,BOOK, Missouri Revised Statutes, § 304.010, Nebraska,BOOK, Nebraska Revised Statutes, §§ 60-618.01 and 60-621, North Dakota,BOOK, North Dakota Century Code, § 24-01-01.1, 2006, Ohio,BOOK,weblink Ohio Revised Code Annotated, § 4511.01, subds. (YY) and (ZZ), 4 October 2014, live,weblink" title="">weblink 6 October 2014, dmy-all, and Wisconsin.BOOK, Wisconsin Statutes, §§ 59.84(1)(b) and 346.57(1)(am), However, each state codified the federal distinction slightly differently. 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 {{convert|10|mi|km|order=flip}} long that are not part of the Interstate 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.BOOK,weblink Ohio Revised Code Annotated, § 4511.01, subd. (ZZ), 4 October 2014, live,weblink" title="">weblink 6 October 2014, dmy-all, Only Minnesota enacted the exact MUTCD definitions, in May 2008.The term expressway is also used for what the federal government calls "freeways".WEB, freeway,weblink American Heritage Dictionary,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 August 2008, dmy-all, 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.{{Citation needed|date=December 2013}}

British overseas territories

File:Leeward_Highway_1.jpg|thumb|right|Leeward Highway, Turks and Caicos IslandsTurks and Caicos IslandsA number of the United Kingdom's overseas territories have controlled-access highways, including the Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands.


(File:Asian Highways.png|center|thumb|upright=1.35|Asian Highways)


(File:China Expwy G4 sign no name.svg|50px|left)File:China National Expressway Network.svg|thumb|right|Map of the National Expressway Network of China ]]File:PRC Expressway.jpg|thumb|right|Chinese expressway, complete with signage. Shown here is the G106 (Jingkai Expressway section) in southern BeijingBeijingThe National Trunk Highway System (NTHS, , literally "National Expressway Network") expressway network of the People's Republic of China is the longest in the world. The total length of China's expressways was {{convert|111950|km|mi}} by the end of 2014.NEWS,weblink 过去五年新增铁路里程1.97万公里 新增高速公路4.2万公里 - 2013两会 - 新华网,, 23 July 2013, live,weblink" title="">weblink 15 November 2013, dmy-all, Only in 2012, {{convert|12409|km|mi}} of expressways were added to this network.Expressways in China are a fairly recent addition to a complicated network of roads. According to Chinese government sources, China did not have any expressways before 1988.NEWS,weblink USA Today, China's Highways Go the Distance, Calum, MacLeod, 29 January 2006, 2 May 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 5 October 2010, dmy-all, One of the earliest expressways nationwide was the Jingshi Expressway between Beijing and Shijiazhuang in Hebei province. This expressway now forms part of the Jingzhu Expressway, currently one of the longest expressways nationwide at over {{convert|2000|km|mi}}.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong major motorways are numbered from 1 to 10 in addition to their names. Speed limits on expressways typically range from {{convert|70|to|110|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}.


{{Update|date=August 2017}}(File:NE1-IN.svg|50px|left)File:Delhi-Gurgaon_Airport_Expressway,_2007.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|India has about {{convert|2000|km|mi|abbr=on}} of expressways. Pictured is a section of the Delhi Gurgaon ExpresswayDelhi Gurgaon ExpresswayFile:Mumbai Pune Expressway overview.jpg|thumb|upright=1.15|The Mumbai-Pune ExpresswayMumbai-Pune ExpresswayExpressways(known as "Gatimarg/गतिमार्ग", or "Speedways" in Hindi and other Indian languages) are the highest class of roads in India's road network and make up around {{convert|1500|km|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 {{convert|1712.4|km|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 {{convert|18637|km|abbr=on}} of expressways by the year 2022.NEWS,weblink Expressway cost pegged at Rs20 crore/km, Daily News and Analysis, Ashutosh, Kumar, 16 September 2016, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 September 2012, The Expressways are operated and maintained by the Union, through the National Highways Authority of India. In 2009, the 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.NEWS,weblink By 2022, govt to lay 18,637km of expressways, Times of India, Dipak Kumar, Dash, 23 November 2009, live,weblink" title="">weblink 26 November 2009, 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 (NHAI).The National Highways Network in India, is managed and maintained by agencies of the Government of India. Currently India has {{convert|71,000|km|mi}} of National Highways out of which more than {{convert|16,000|km|mi}} are four- or six-laned and the remaining {{convert|55,000|km|mi}} are two-laned.WEB,weblink Welcome to NHAI, NHAI, 23 July 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 April 2015, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Archived copy, 3 September 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, The national highway system of India consists of approximately {{convert|10000|km|abbr=on}} 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 plans to add an additional {{convert|18637|km|abbr=on}} of expressways to the network by the year 2022 with {{convert|3530|km|abbr=on}} to come up by 2015.{{Update inline|date=December 2015}}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.WEB,weblink Ministry of Road Transport & Highways,, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 21 July 2012,


File:Bali Mandara Toll road.JPG|thumb|right|The Bali Mandara Toll Road, in BaliBali(File:Rambu petunjuk 4a.svg|left|40px) In Indonesia, an expressway is better known as a toll road simply the translation from Jalan Tol in Indonesian. Indonesia has {{convert|1,710|km|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 {{convert|1,000|km|mi}}.The Indonesian government also had planned to build the Trans-Sumatra toll road that connects Banda Aceh to Bakauheni along {{convert|2,700|km|mi}}. In 2012, the government allocated 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.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 13 October 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 December 2015, The other islands in Indonesia such as Kalimantan, Sulawesi also has begun constructed its expressways including connecting Manado to Makassar in Sulawesi and also Pontianak to Balikpapan in Kalimantan.NEWS,weblink Manado people ask govt accelerate Trans Sulawesi,, 22 April 2012, 5 September 2016, live,weblink" title="">weblink 29 November 2016, However, there are still no plans to build an expressway in Western New Guinea due to its slow population growth. Indonesia is expected to have at least {{Convert|7,000|km|mi}} of expressway in 2030.Indonesia doesn't acknowledge or observe any highway numbering.


(File:Freeway in Iran.svg|left|50px)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 {{convert|2160|km|mi}} of freeway.{{clear left}}


{{see also|List of highways in Israel}}(File:ISR-FW-blank-blue.svg|left|60px)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.


(File:Japan National Expressway map.png|thumb|Map of Japanese Expressways with numbering scheme)(File:E1 Expressway (Japan).png|50px|left)(File:Shuto Urban Expwy Sign B.svg|50px|left){{nihongo|National expressways|高速自動車国道|Kōsoku Jidōsha Kokudō}}, generally known as {{nihongo|高速道路|Kōsoku Dōro}}, make up the majority of controlled-access highways in Japan. The network boasts an uninterrupted link between Aomori Prefecture at the northern part of Honshū and Kagoshima Prefecture at the southern part of Kyūshū, linking Shikoku as well. Additional expressways serve travellers in Hokkaidō and on Okinawa Island, although those are not connected to the Honshū-Kyūshū-Shikoku grid. Expressways have a combined length of {{convert|9,341|km|mi}} {{as of|April 2017|lc=yes}}.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 20 June 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 April 2015, WEB,weblink Statistics Bureau Home Page/JAPAN STATISTICAL YEARBOOK 2016 - Chapter 12 Information and Communication,, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2017, WEB,weblink 道路:道の相談室:道に関する各種データ集, 国土交通省, 16 Mar 2019, File:Satta yukei.jpg|Many Japanese expressways go through the steep mountains.File:Isewangan20180428H.jpg|A group of green-colored directional signs on a Japanese expressway.File:Tokai JCT 20150815B.JPG|Toll gates are placed at most of the entrances and exits of Japanese expressways.File:TOYOTA Interchange on TOMEI EXPWY and SHIN-TOMEI EXPWY.jpg|Aerial view of Toyota Interchange, connecting Tomei Expressway and Shin-Tomei Expressway.File:Shuto expressway takaracho.jpg|The Shutoko C1 route forms a loop of the center of Tokyo.


(File:Autobahn Southkorea.svg|right|thumb|upright=0.9|Expressways in South Korea)(File:Korea Expressway No.1.svg|50px|left)Since Gyeongin Expressway linking Seoul and Incheon opened in 1968, national expressway system in South Korea has been expanded into 36 routes, with total length of {{convert|4,481|km|mi}} as of 2017. Most of expressways are four-lane roads, while {{convert|1,030|km|mi}} (26%) have six to ten lanes. Speed limit is typically {{convert|100|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}} for routes with four or more lanes, while some sections having fewer curves have limit of {{convert|110|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}.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 American numbering.
  • 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.


(File:Expressway logo.png|50px|left)File:Sungailong-kdle.JPG|thumb|right|Sungai Long exit, Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway, SelangorSelangorThe Malaysian Expressway System (), 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 Highway Authority.The expressway network of Malaysia is considered the best expressway network in Southeast Asia and also in Asia after China and Japan and also the fifth in the world.{{By whom|date=October 2018}} They were 30 expressways in the country and the total length is {{convert|1,821|km|mi}}.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 13 October 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 March 2012, WEB,weblink TravelSmarter,, 18 July 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 June 2017, and another {{convert|219.3|km|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 Sabah and Sarawak with Brunei.


{{Reimprove|date=August 2017}}(File:Pakistan motorway symbol.svg|left|60px|Symbol used for motorways in Pakistan) (File:Pakistan Nationalhighways.PNG|thumb|right|upright=1.35|Roadmap of Pakistan's National Highways and Motorways{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}})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 {{convert|1670|km|mi}} as of November 2016.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}} Around {{convert|3690|km|mi}} of motorways are currently under construction in different parts of the country.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}} Most of these motorway projects will be complete between 2018 and 2020.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}}Pakistan's motorways are part of Pakistan's National Trade Corridor project that aims to link Pakistan's three Arabian Sea ports of Karachi, 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.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}}Pakistan's first motorway, the M2, was inaugurated in November 1997; it is a {{convert|367|km|mi|adj=mid|-long}}, six-lane motorway that links Pakistan's federal capital, Islamabad, with Punjab's provincial capital, Lahore.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}} Other completed motorways and expressways are M1 Peshawar–Islamabad Motorway, M4 PindiBhattian–Faislabad-Multan Motorway, E75 Islamabad-Murree–Kashmir Expressway, M3 Lahore–Multan Motorway, M8 Ratadero–Gawader Motorway, E8 Islamabad Expressway, M5 Multan-Sukkur Motorway, M9 Karachi-Hyderabad, Sindh and few others.{{Citation needed|date=August 2017}}


{{See also|List of Expressways in the Philippines}}File:Pic geo photos - ph=mm=muntinlupa=slex - view from bilibid overpass -philippines--2015-0428--ls-.jpg|thumb|South Luzon Expressway in the 240x240px (File:E1 (Philippines).svg|alt=|left|frameless|67x67px)Full control-access highways in the Philippines are referred to as expressways, which are usually toll roads. The expressway network is concentrated in Luzon, with the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway being the most important ones. The expressway network in Luzon do not form a network, but there are ongoing construction to interconnect those highways as well as to decongest the existing roads in the areas they serve. Expressways are being introduced to Visayas and Mindanao through the construction of the Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway in Metro Cebu and Davao City Expressway in Davao City.


(File:Singapore Road Signs - Information Sign - Expressway.svg|60px|left)File:Bukit Timah Expressway.jpg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|The Bukit Timah Expressway in SingaporeSingaporeThe 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}}, there are {{convert|163|km|mi}} of expressways in Singapore.WEB,weblink Expressways in Singapore: Did you know?, 5 April 2006, July 2001, Automobile Association of Singapore, The Highway, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 March 2006, The Singaporean expressway networks are connected with Malaysian expressway networks via Ayer Rajah Expressway (connects with the Second Link Expressway via the Malaysia–Singapore Second Link) and Bukit Timah Expressway (connects with the Eastern Dispersal Link via the Johor–Singapore Causeway).

Sri Lanka

(File:Sri Lanka Expressway Start Sign.svg|60px|left)File:Galle Expressway.JPG|thumb|The Southern Expressway (E01) in Sri Lanka]]Sri Lanka currently has over {{convert|150|km|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 {{convert|95.3|km|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 {{convert|25.8|km|mi}}. All E-Grade highways in Sri Lanka are access controlled, toll roads with speeds limits in the range of {{convert|80|-|110|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}. The network is to be expanded to {{convert|350|km|mi}} by 2019.Operational (fully or partially) : Planned :


(File:TWHW1.svg|60px|left)File:ROC National Highway 1 Taipei lower.jpg|thumb|right|Southbound on Freeway 1 in TaipeiTaipeiTaiwan has an extensive road network that includes two types of controlled-access highway: freeways and expressways. Only cars and trucks are allowed onto freeways, the first of which — Freeway 1 — was completed in 1974. Expressways allow car and truck traffic as well as motorcycles with engines of 250cc or more.Expressways in Taiwan may be controlled-access highways similar to National Freeways or limited-access roads. Most have urban roadsand intra-city expressways (as opposed to Highway system) status, although some are built and maintained by cities.


(File:Thai Motorway-t7.svg|60px|left)File:Makkasan Interchange at night by Mark Fischer.jpg|thumb|right|A Motorway interchange in Makkasan, BangkokBangkokThe Thai motorway network is an intercity motorway network that spans {{convert|145|km|mi}}. It is to be extended to over {{convert|4000|km|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 highway network.The Thai highway network spans over {{convert|70,000|km|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.


(File:Freeway sign ( Vietnam ).png|left|Vietnam's motorway sign.)At present, the expressway system of Vietnam is {{convert|895|km}} long. Under the government's plan, the national expressway system will have a total length of {{convert|6411|km}}. The expressway system in Vietnam is separate from the national highway system.WEB,weblink Quy hoạch phát triển mạng đường bộ cao tốc Việt Nam đến năm 2020 và định hướng đến năm 2030 ( Planning on development of Vietnam's expressway network up to 2020 and orientation to 2030), 1 March 2016, Thư viện Pháp luật, Vietnamese, Most of the expressways are located in the North, especially around Hanoi. Of the 21 expressways in Vietnam, 8 emanate from Hanoi and 14 are in the north, with a length of {{convert|1368|km}}. The first motorway in Vietnam is the (:vi:Đường cao tốc Pháp Vân – Cầu Giẽ|Phap Van - Cau Gie expressway), which is inaugurated on 1 January 2002.Currently, most of the expressways in Vietnam are four-lane highways, with some routes like Ha Noi - Haiphong, and Phap Van - Cau Gie being six-lane. The only elevated expressway in Vietnam is Mai Dich - Thanh Tri Bridge (also known as the third ring road in Hanoi). The cost of building Vietnam's highways is one of the most expensive in the world, with an average cost of $12 million per kilometre. Compared with China, where there are similarities, their highway costs only $5 million per kilometre, where in the US and European countries, costs $3–4 million per kilometre.WEB,weblink Đường cao tốc Việt Nam đắt gấp 2-4 lần thế giới?,, Vietnamese, 15 June 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 2017-06-15, dead, According to road traffic laws of Vietnam, an expressway is a road for motor vehicles, with a divider separating opposing traffic directions, no at-grade crossings with intersecting roads, fully equipped facilities to ensure continuous traffic flow, safety and short journey times, and access allowed only at interchanges.Operational (fully or partially) :(File:CT.01.png|left|48x48px)( Ha Noi - Ninh Binh )(File:CT.01.png|left|48x48px)(Da Nang - Quang Ngai )(File:CT.01.png|left|48x48px)( Long Thanh - Ho Chi Minh City )(File:CT.01.png|left|48x48px)( Ho Chi Minh City - Trung Luong )(File:Hanoi - Hai Phong freeway sign.png|left|48x48px)( Ha Noi - Hai Phong )(File:Noi Bai - Lao Cai freeway sign.png|left|48x48px)( Noi Bai - Lao Cai )(File:Hanoi - Hoa Lac freeway sign.png|left|48x48px)( Ha Noi - Hoa Lac )(File:Hanoi -Thai Nguyen freeway sign.png|left|48x48px)( Ha Noi - Thai Nguyen )(File:CT.01.png|left|48x48px)( Ha Noi - Bac Giang )(File:Mai Dich - Thanh Tri bridge freeway sign.png|left|48x48px)( Mai Dich - Thanh Tri bridge ){{clear}}


Regarding road function (see also ERSO Traffic Safety Synthesis on Roads), motorways serve exclusively the function of flow (Wegman & Aarts, 2005). They allow for efficient throughput of, usually long distance, motorized traffic, with unhindered flow of traffic, no traffic signals, at-grade intersections or property access and elimination of conflicts with other directions of traffic, thus, dramatically improving both safety and capacity.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.including European main international traffic arteries are defined by ECE/TRANS/SC 1/384Some 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 etc.;
  • 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.Most of the European countries use the above motorway definition but different national definitions of motorways can be found in some countriesweblink it is usually considered that:
  • Motorways serve exclusively motorised traffic.
  • Motorways have separate carriageways for the two directions of traffic.
  • Motorways are not crossed at the same level by other roads, footpaths, railways
  • Traffic entrance and exit is performed at interchanges only.
  • Motorways have no access for traffic between interchanges and do not provide access to adjacent land.
  • Motorways are especially sign-posted
Motorways status is signaled at the entry and exit of the motorway by a symbol conforming to international agreements, but specific to each country.File:Sweden road sign E1.svg|SwedenFile:Spain traffic signal s1.svg|SpainFile:Zeichen 330 - Autobahn, StVO 1992.svg|GermanyFile:UK motorway symbol.svg|United Kingdom, IrelandFile:CH-Hinweissignal-Autobahn.svg|SwitzerlandFile:Autoroute F.svg|FranceFile:Italian traffic signs - inizio autostrada.svg|ItalyFile:Romania road sign G6.svg|RomaniaWEB,,weblink Señales De Transito,, 18 July 2017, live,weblink 25 May 2017, 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 Bulgaria and Romania also reported no motorway network; several of these regions bordered onto non-member neighbouring countries to the east of the EU.WEB,weblink Transport statistics at regional level - Statistics Explained,, 2012-01-18, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 20 July 2017, European motorways provide reduces accidents risk: 50% to 90% lower compared to standard roads, when new motorways only reducesinjuries by 7%.Some of the things which are considered as providing safety in the European mtorways are central medians, grade separates interchanges, and access restrictions.Nonetheless, some specific conditions provide a height risk of a more severe accidents, such as:
  • improper use of emergency lane,
  • cross-median head-on accidents,
  • wrong direction accident.


(File:Traffic Sign GR - KOK 2009 OMOE-KSA 2003 - PI-27 - squared - VCT.svg|50px|left)(File:Harta autostrade Shqiperia.png|thumb|upright=0.9|Current map of Albanian motorways)Highways in Albania form part of the recent Albanian road system. Following the collapse of communism in 1991, the first highways in Albania started 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.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 19 June 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2013, WEB,weblink Archived copy, 19 June 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 March 2016, 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 unfinished.File:Autostrada Durrës-Morina-04.jpg|A1 Nation's Highway in Northern Albania connecting Albania with Kosovo.File:Kraba Tunnel.JPG|Krraba Tunnel on the A3 Tirana - ElbasanFile:A2 Levan Vlora.JPG|A2 Fier - Vlore known as the Independence Highway


(File:Hinweiszeichen 8a.svg|50px|left)(File:Autobahnen und Schnellstraßen in Österreich.svg|thumb|upright=1.15|A map of the Austrian Autobahn and Schnellstraße system. Blue = Autobahn, Green = Schnellstraße, Dotted = planned or under construction)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 Road Act (Bundesstraßengesetz),WEB,weblink RIS - Gesamte Rechtsvorschrift für Bundesstraßengesetz 1971 - Bundesrecht konsolidiert, Fassung vom 18.07.2017,, 29 November 2008, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2017, 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 provinces of Canada (and in most American states, albeit in miles). The current Austrian Autobahn network has a total length of {{convert|1,720|km|mi}}.File:Brenner-Autobahn_mit_der_Europabrücke_bei_Patsch.jpg|Brenner Autobahn near InnsbruckFile:A22_Floridsdorfer_Brücke.jpg|A22 Donauuferautobahn, near the exit Floridsdorfer Brücke


(File:Belgian road sign F5.svg|50px|left)In 1937, the first motorway between Brussels and 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 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 {{convert|930|km|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 {{convert|100|km|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 ringweblink {{webarchive|url= |date=18 December 2014 }} Website dedicated to the history and state of the Belgian motorwaysBelgium today has the longest total motorway length per area unit of any country in the world.{{citation needed|date=January 2012}} 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 Brussels and Antwerp cause major traffic congestion on motorways. On an average Monday morning in 2012, there was a total of {{convert|356|km|mi}}WEB,weblink OVERZICHT. Hier staan we het meest in de file - Het Nieuwsblad,, 22 March 2013, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 22 June 2017, of traffic jams and the longest traffic jam of the year was {{convert|1258|km}},WEB,weblink Nooit gezien: 1.258 km file door sneeuwval - België,, 2012-02-03, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 27 June 2017, purely on the motorways.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has more than {{convert|40|km|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, Sarajevo and Mostar to Adriatic Sea. Next sections are Kakanj-DrivuÅ¡a 16 km, Zenica Sjever-DrivuÅ¡a 11 km, Svilaj-Odžak 11 km, Vlakovo-Tarčin 20 km, Počitelj-Bijača 21 km.


(File:Bulgaria Highways.png|thumb|upright=0.9|Bulgarian motorway network.)Legislation in Bulgaria defines two types of highways: motorways (, ) and expressways (, ). The main differences are that motorways have emergency lanes and the maximum allowed speed limit is {{convert|140|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}, while expressways do not have emergency lanes and the speed limit is {{convert|120|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}. {{As of|2018|06}}, {{convert|777|km|mi}} of motorways are in service, with another {{convert|62|km|mi}} under various stages of construction. More than {{convert|590|km|mi}} are planned. Also, several expressways are planned.


(File:Sweden road sign E1.svg|left|50px|Sign used denote the start of an Autoroute)The primary high-speed motorways in Croatia are called autoceste (singular: autocesta; {{IPA-hr|ˈaʊtotsesta|hr}}), 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 {{convert|80|km/h}}. The typical speed limit is {{convert|130|km/h}}. As of 2017, there are {{convert|1313|km}} of motorways in Croatia. There is also a category known as brza cesta, meaning "expressway". These roads can legally have a speed limit up to {{convert|110|km/h}} and are often grade-separated, but the latter is not legally required.


missing image!
- A1 Motorway Cyprus.png -
A2 highway logo
Motorways (Greek: αυτοκινητόδρομος, Turkish: Otoyol) connect all cities in Cyprus, although in the territory under de facto Turkish control these do not meet international standards for the definition of motorways. In the areas administered by the Republic of Cyprus, motorway numbers are prefaced with the letter A, and run from A1 to A6, to distinguish them from all other roads, designated B roads. Of the A roads, all are designated motorways, except for the A4, linking Larnaca with Larnaca Airport.Motorways are also distinguishable by the use of green-backed road signs, with standard international graphics, and text in yellow in Greek and white in English, distinguishable from B road signage, which has signs with blue backgrounds.Motorway junctions are theoretically designated with junction numbers, but signage is not consistent is indicating the exit numbers.

Czech Republic

(File:CZ traffic sign IZ1a.svg|left|50px)(File:MotorwaysCZmap.svg|thumb|upright=0.9|Czech motorway network)The Czech Republic has currently (2016) {{convert|1247|km|mi}} of motorways (dálnice) whose speed limit is {{convert|130|km/h|mph}} (or {{convert|80|km/h|mph|disp=sqbr}} within a town). The total length should be {{convert|2000|km|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 {{convert|3.5|t}} and their speed limit is {{convert|110|km/h|mph}}, partially up to {{convert|130|km/h|mph}}.


(File:Sweden road sign E1.svg|left|50px)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 SkÃ¥ne (Scania) in southern Sweden. Both are motorways with dual electrical train tracks added. A motorway tunnel across the Fehmarn Belt toGermany 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.{{citation needed|date=January 2012}}


Finland has {{convert|863|km|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 (Vt1/E18), Tampere (Vt3/E12), Tuusula, Heinola (Vt4/E75) and Hamina (Vt7/E18). These roads have a total length of {{convert|653|km|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).


(File:Autoroute F.svg|left|50px|Sign used denote the start of an Autoroute)(File:France autoroutes map-fr.svg|thumb|upright=1.15|Map of French motorways (in yellow) and expressways (in red))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 {{convert|11,882|km|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).File:Séparation A430 & A43.JPG|Cross between A430 motorway and A43 motorwayFile:Autoroute A2 - Barrière de péage de Hordain-5705.jpg|alt=Barrière de péage|Toll barrier in Hordain (south of Hordain), on autoroute A2


(File:Zeichen 330 - Autobahn, StVO 1992.svg|50px|left)(File:Deutschland Autobahnen Nummerierung.svg|right|thumb|upright=1.15|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 Autobahn network has a total length of {{convert|12,917|km|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 {{convert|130|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}. The lower class expressways usually have speed limits of {{convert|120|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}} or lower.File:Garching_Bundesautobahn_9.jpg|German Motorway (Autobahn) - one of the world's earliest motorwaysFile:A5Langen.jpg|An autobahn with 4 lanes in each direction of travel for {{convert|21|km|mi}}. The section between Zeppelinheim and Darmstadt is the oldest Autobahn.File:Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F088783-0003, Bei Bad Honnef, Ferienverkehr auf der A 3.jpg|The A 3 in 1991File:Verkehrszeichen auf der Bundesautobahn 20090320 001.JPG|Dynamic traffic signs on an Autobahn.


(File:Greek-completed-motorways.gif|thumb|upright=1.1|Map of Greece's motorway network as of 2016. Black=Completed routes, Blue=Under Construction, Grey=Planned routes)(File:Traffic Sign GR - KOK 2009 OMOE-KSA 2003 - PI-27 - squared - VCT.svg|50px|left)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 {{convert|2,500|km|mi}} of Motorways, making it the biggest highway network in Southeastern Europe and the Balkans and one of the most advanced in Europe.NEWS,weblink Greek Motorways: The country's "road Metro" has now emerged -, 3 August 2017, el-gr, live,weblink" title="">weblink 4 August 2017, 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 Olympia Motorway connecting Athens and Patras. Another important motorway is the Attiki Odos motorway, the main beltway of the Athens Metropolitan area.File:A2 Motorway, Greece - Section Siatista-Kozani - Kalamia Exit - 04.jpg|A2 exit near KozaniFile:Athens-Kiffisia-aerial.jpg|Aerial view of an A6 interchange north of AthensFile:Aytokinhtodromos 1 Greece near Katerini.JPG|A1 near Katerini


(File:KRESZ-1.svg|KRESZ-1|50px|left)In Hungary, a controlled-access highway is called an (plural ).{{-}}


(File:UK motorway symbol.svg|60px|left)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 {{convert|83|km|mi|adj=on}} M1 motorway—being finished in 2005.Under the Transport 21 infrastructural plan,WEB,weblink Transport 21 Infrastructure Plan, Ireland,, 15 December 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 November 2010, dmy-all, motorways or high quality dual carriageways were built between Dublin and the major cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick and 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 Kinnegad and 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 in 2009.As of December 2011, the Republic of Ireland has around {{convert|1,017|km|mi}} of motorways.


(File:Italian traffic signs - inizio autostrada.svg|left|40px){{multiple image| align = right| image1 = Italia_-_Mappa_strade_europee.svg| width1 = 180| alt1 =International E-road network>E-roads in Italy| image2 = Italia - mappa autostrade.svg| width2 = 180| alt2 =| caption2 = Autostrade (motorways) of Italy| footer =}}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.WEB,weblink German Myth 8: Hitler's Autobahn?, 3 April 2006, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 May 2006, WEB,weblink 1924 Mile Posts, 3 April 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 March 2008, Other motorways built before the Second World War in Italy were Naples-Pompeii, Florence-Pisa, Padua-Venice, Milan-Turin, Milan-Bergamo-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 {{convert|110|km/h|mph|disp=sqbr}} instead of {{convert|130|km/h|mph|disp=sqbr}}).File:Autostrada A14.jpg|The A14 near Forlì.File:PMV A14-RA1.JPG|Dynamic traffic signs on an Autostrada.


(File:Lithuania road sign 501.svg|left|40px)There are two categories of controlled-access highways in Lithuania: expressways (Lithuanian: greitkeliai) with maximum speed 120 km/h and motorways (Lithuanian: automagistralÄ—s) with maximum speed 130 km/h. The first section Vilnius–Kaunas of A1 highway was completed in 1970. Kaunas–KlaipÄ—da section of A1 was completed in 1987.WEB, MagistralÄ—s jubiliejus,weblink Transporto pasaulis, 25 March 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 22 July 2011, Vilnius-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. Motorway section between Kaunas and the Polish border is planned to be completed in the 2020s.File:Kelias_A2,_ties_Tauj%C4%97nais.JPG|A2 motorway near TaujÄ—naiFile:U_turn_A2_Lithuania.JPG|Motorway junction with U-turns. A2 motorway near Raguva.


{{see also|List of motorways in the Netherlands}}(File:Nederlands verkeersbord G1.svg|left|50px|Autosnelweg)File:DRIP op A13 voor Kleinpolderplein.jpg|thumb|Dynamic Route Information Panel (DRIP) on Dutch A13 freeway during evening rush hour]]Roads in the Netherlands include at least {{convert|2758|km|mi}} of motorways and expressways,WEB,weblink CIA World Factbook | Field listing: Roadways, 2012, Central Intelligence Agency, 7 July 2014, live,weblink 22 May 2014, 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.PRESS RELEASE, Road traffic, vehicles and networks | Environment at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators,weblink Paris, France, OECD Publishing, 2013, 10 July 2014, About {{convert|2,500|km|mi}} are fully constructed to motorway standards,WEB,weblink Autosnelweg, WegenWiki, Dutch, Motorway, 2012, 2014-07-17, live,weblink" title="">weblink 11 July 2014, 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 {{convert|130|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}, but on many stretches speed is still limited to {{convert|120|or|100|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}. Dutch motorways may only be used by motor vehicles both capable and legally allowed to go at least {{convert|60|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}.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 {{convert|50|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}, 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.File:The Basketweave.svg|thumb|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.

North Macedonia

(File:Клучка А1-А2-А3.jpg|thumb|A1/A2/A4 Interchange at Miladinovci, N.Macedonia)The total motorway network length in North Macedonia is {{convert|317|km|mi}} as of Spring 2019. Another {{convert|57|km|mi}} (Ohrid to Kicevo) are under construction and there are plans to start works on two additional stretches in 2020 (Skopje to Kosovo border and Gostivar to Kicevo). The three motorway routes are A1, which is part of the European corridor E-75, A2 (part of E-65) and the recently built A4 corridor that connects Skopje to Stip. A1 connects the northern border (Serbia) with the southern one (Greece), while A2 traverses the country from the East (Bulgaria border) to West (Albania border), but only the stretch from Kumanovo to Gostivar is a divided motorway, while the rest of the length is either an undivided two-way road or in the process of turning into a motorway.WEB,weblink Start Page | Public enterprise for state roads,, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 8 August 2017,


(File:Norwegian-road-sign-502.0.svg|50px|left)Norway has (2016) {{convert|509|km|mi}} of motorways, in addition to {{convert|427|km|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 {{convert|90|-|110|km/h|mph}}.


(File:Znak D9.svg|50px|left)(File:Nowamapastan.png|thumb|right|upright=1.35|Polish motorway and expressways network. Legend of sections:{{legend|green|completed}}{{legend|red|under construction}}{{legend|gray|planned}})The highways in Poland are divided into motorways and expressways. As of January 2019, there are {{convert|1675|km|mi}} of motorwaysWEB, Autostrady,weblink Generalna Dyrekcja Dróg Krajowych i Autostrad, 8 November 2019, (autostrady, singular: autostrada) and {{convert|2330|km|mi}} of expressways (drogi ekspresowe, singular: droga ekspresowa).WEB, Oddajemy do ruchu obwodnicę Szczecinka na S11 - mamy już w Polsce ponad 4000 km dróg szybkiego ruchu,weblink Generalna Dyrekcja Dróg Krajowych i Autostrad, 8 November 2019, Motorways in Poland are limited-access roads which can be only dual carriageways. Additionally, there were also {{convert|116|km|mi}} of motorways under construction (January 2019).Expressways in Poland are limited-access roads which can be dual or, rarely, single carriageways. There were about {{convert|1167|km|mi|0}} of expressways in various stages of construction (January 2019). 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 number.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 {{convert|7805|km|mi|-1}} (including about {{convert|2000|km|mi|-1}} of motorways).Dz.U. 2004 nr 128 poz. 1334 {{pl icon}} Regulation from February 2007 added roads S2 and S79 to the list.Dz.U. 2007 nr 35 poz. 220 {{pl icon}} Regulation from October 2009 supplemented plans with road S61.Dz.U. 2009 nr 187 poz. 1446 {{pl icon}}


(File:Portugal road sign H24.svg|50px|left)File:Auto estrada A1.jpg|thumb|A1 motorway links Lisbon to Oporto. It is a toll road for most of its length and is explored by Brisa. A1 was completed in 1991.]]Portugal was the third country in Europe—after Italy and Germany—to build a motorway (, plural: ), opening, in 1944, the Lisbon-Estádio Nacional section of the present A5 (Autoestrada da Costa do Estoril).weblink {{webarchive |url= |date=14 February 2015 }}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 {{convert|3000|km|mi|adj=on}} 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.weblink" title="">Portugal é dos países com mais autoestradas na Europa Diário de Notícias—acedido em 21 April 2009{{full citation needed|date=July 2018}}Unlike the neighbouring Spanish network, most of 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 Government of Portugal created seven shadow toll concessions, the SCUT toll (, no costs for the user). In those concessions it were included more than {{convert|900|km|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 (, National Motorway Network), that overlaps with the Fundamental and Complementary subnetworks of the National Highway Network (). Each motorway section overlapping with the Fundamental subnetwork is part of an IP (, Principal route) and each motorway section overlapping with the Complementary subnetwork is part of an IC (, 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.The National 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.


(File:Romania road sign G6.svg|50px|left)(File:Romania Motorways DE.svg|upright=0.7|right|thumb|Planned motorways in Romania)The first motorway in Romania was completed in 1972, linking Bucharest and Pitești.WEB, Iptana, 50 de ani de proiectare pentru infrastructura transporturilor,weblink Iptana, ro, 10 September 2003, 8 August 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2015, As of January 2019, Romania has {{convert|803|km|mi}} of motorways in use, with more 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.WEB, Documente Master Plan General de Transport,weblink Romanian Ministry of Transport, ro, 8 August 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 March 2015, File:A10 motorway between Turda and Aiud, Romania.jpg|The A10 motorway crossing through the hills of TransilvaniaFile:A1 Orastie-Sibiu 01.jpg|A1 motorway near SibiuFile:A2 motorway Romania.JPG|A2 motorway closing up on the Cernavodă interchangeFile:Centura Arad in constructie.jpg|Arad West interchange under construction


(File:Sweden road sign E1.svg|50px|left)(File:Map of motorways in Serbia nov.png|thumb|upright=0.7|Serbian motorway network.{{legend|green|finished}}{{legend|red|under construction}}{{legend|gray|planned}})Motorways () and expressways () are the backbone of the road system in Serbia. There are around {{convert|780|km|mi}} of motorways in total .WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2 October 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 2 October 2017, Plan is {{convert|1200|km|mi}} by the end of 2018.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 {{convert|130|km/h|mph}}.Expressways, unlike motorways, don't have emergency lanes, signs are white-on-blue and the normal speed limit is {{convert|100|km/h|mph}}.As the Serbian word for motorway is "autoput", the "A1", "A2" or "A3" road designations are used since November 2013.JOURNAL, Uredba o kategorizaciji državnih puteva, Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, 29 November 2013, 105,weblink subscription, live,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2015, 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.The core of the motorways is what was once called during Yugoslav period, the Brotherhood and Unity Highway, which was opened in 1950 and goes from the border with Croatia, through Belgrade, Central Serbia, Niš, and to border with North Macedonia. It was one of the first modern highways in Cetral-Eastern Europe. It is the most direct link between Central and Western Europe with Greece and Turkey, and subsequently the Middle-East.File:E-75 in Serbia.JPG|A1/E-75 motorway in SerbiaFile:Petlja Dobanovci - Niš - Budapest.jpg


(File:Spain traffic signal s1.svg|50px|left)File:Red española de autopistas y autovías2.PNG|right|upright=1.15|thumb|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 {{convert|16583|km|mi}}. Autopistas are specifically reserved for automobile travel, so all vehicles not able to sustain at least {{convert|60|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}} are banned from them. General speed limits are mandated by the Spanish Traffic Law as {{convert|60|-|120|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}}. 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.M40 outside Madrid.jpg|The M-40 autopista (motorway) is one of the beltways serving Madrid. It is one of the few non-toll autopistas of significant lengthA5 Navalcarnero.jpg|The A-5 autovía (expressway) near Navalcarnero, Madrid. Note the mostly nonexistent acceleration lane in the road joining from the bottom rightAlgaba.jpg|Modern autovías (expressway) such as the A-66 near Guillena, Seville, offer most, if not all, features that are required by an autopista (motorway)


(File:Sweden road sign E1.svg|50px|left)File:E22 Nättraby motorväg västerut mot Karlskrona.jpg|thumb|E22 Motorway westbound towards KarlskronaKarlskronaFile:Sodra lanken vasterut.jpg|thumb|The Södra länken Rv-75 ring road in StockholmStockholmSweden has the largest motorway network in Scandinavia ({{convert|2050|km|mi|disp=comma|sigfig=4}}).WEB,weblink Sveriges vägnät - Trafikverket,, 28 June 2016, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 18 July 2015, 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 between Gothenburg and Alingsås, built in the early 1940s. Most of the current network was built in the 1970s and 1990s.E6 starts i Trelleborg in southern Sweden, it then continues along the Swedish western coast, up to the Svinesund bridge which is where Sweden borders to Norway. Its length is close to {{convert|600|km|mi}} on Swedish territory alone, and it connects four of Scandinavia's six largest cities, Copenhagen, Malmö, Gothenburg and Oslo together,WEB,weblink 150706 Hela E6 motorväg från Köpenhamn till Oslo –,, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2017, WEB,weblink I dag invigs sista etappen av E 6 | Göteborgs-Posten - Göteborg,, 6 July 2015, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2017, WEB, Linda Bergh,weblink Tog 60 år att bygga klart motorvägen | GT,, 6 July 2015, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2017, 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 Tornio in northern Finland to Helsingborg in southern Sweden. E4 is the main route that connects the capital Stockholm with Scania. All of E4 south of the city Gävle is of motorway standard, with only the part passing Ljungby ({{Convert|32|km|mi|disp=comma}}) left, currently in expressway standard. Upgrade to motorway standard will start in 2017.WEB,weblink E4, Ljungby–Toftanäs, motorväg - Trafikverket,, 20 September 2016, 18 July 2017, live,weblink" title="">weblink 9 July 2017, The part of E4 that runs through western 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. Riksväg 40 is the main link between the largest cities in the country, 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.{{clr}}


(File:Image-Swiss-Highway-network-en.png|thumb|Swiss highway network)(File:CH-Hinweissignal-Autobahn.svg|50px|left){{clr}}


(File:Sweden road sign E1.svg|50px|left){{multiple image
| height = 100
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| footer = Turkey. Highways
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Motorways () of Turkey are a network in constant development. Some motorways require toll (using only RFID methods), mostly six lanes wide, illuminated and with a {{convert|120|km/h|mph|0|abbr=on}} speed limit. In 2013, the motorways were {{convert|2155|km|mi}} long in total.File:Turkish state road D 750.JPG|Turkish state road D 750 at Konya junction. Toros Mountains in the backgroundFile:Seyrantepe bridge.png|Otoyol 2 near Ali Sami Yen Stadium, Ä°stanbul

United Kingdom

{{See also|Roads in the United Kingdom}}

Great Britain

(File:UK motorway symbol.svg|left|50px)(File:UK motorways map 2016.svg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|Motorways of the United Kingdom)File:M25 Motorway Clockwise. Approaching Junction 14 For A3113 For Heathrow - - 1280493.jpg|thumb|right|The M25 MotorwayM25 MotorwayA map Showing Future Pattern of Principal National Routes was issued by the Ministry of War Transport in 1946WEB,weblink A New Way to Travel, live,weblink" title="">weblink 24 November 2011, shortly before the law that allowed roads to be restricted to specified classes of vehicle (the Special Roads Act 1949) was passed.WEB,weblink Special Roads Act 1949, Office of Public Sector Information, 31 December 2007, live,weblink" title="">weblink 29 February 2008, The first section of motorway, the M6 Preston Bypass, opened in 1958WEB,weblink Statistics, Motorway Archive, The Motorway Archive Trust, 18 November 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 October 2007, 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;WEB,weblink Opening dates for Motorways in the UK in chronological order, Motorway Archive, The Motorway Archive Trust, 18 November 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 December 2008, by 1972 the first {{convert|1000|mi|km|sigfig=2|order=flip}} of motorway had been built.BOOK, Ron, Bridle, John, Porter, yes, The Motorway Achievement, 2002, Thomas Telford, 978-0-7277-3196-8, 223, 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 for a series of ringways were cancelled following extensive road protests and a rise in costs.WEB,weblink Post-war and beyond, Chris' British Road Directory, 18 November 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 October 2006, {{Unreliable source?|failed=y|date=January 2014}} In 1986 the single-ring, M25 motorway was completed as a compromise.WEB,weblink M25 London Orbital Motorway (Junctions 13 to 30), Motorway Archive, The Motorway Archive Trust, 31 December 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 December 2008, In 1996 the total length of motorways reached {{convert|2000|mi||sigfig=2|order=flip}}.BOOK, Ron, Bridle, John, Porter, yes, The Motorway Achievement, 2002, Thomas Telford, 978-0-7277-3196-8, 189, Motorways in Great Britain, as in numerous European countries, will nearly always have the following characteristics:
  1. No traffic lights (except occasionally on slip roads before reaching the main carriageway).
  2. Exit is nearly always via a numbered junction and slip road, with rare minor exceptions.
  3. Pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles below a specified engine size are banned.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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 (i.e. Ax(M)), roundabouts may exist on the main carriageway where they intersect 'M' class motorways. 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:
    • the M271 in Southampton which has a roundabout on the main carriageway where it meets the M27, but then continues as the M271 after the junction.
    • 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 turning off.WEB,weblink Bad Junctions, Chris' British Road Directory, live,weblink" title="">weblink 29 November 2014, {{Unreliable source?|failed=y|date=January 2014}}
    • the A1(M) between the M62 in North Yorkshire and Washington in Tyne and Wear is built to full 'M' class standards without any roundabouts.
    • the A74(M) between Gretna and Abingdon in Scotland is similarly built to full 'M' class standards with no roundabouts.

Northern Ireland

(File:UK motorway symbol.svg|left|50px)Legal authority existed in the Special Roads Act (Northern Ireland) 1963 similar to that in the 1949 Act.WEB,weblink Conceptions and early history of the motorways in Northern Ireland, Motorway Archive, The Motorway Archive Trust, 31 December 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 October 2007, The first motorway to open was the M1 motorway, though it did so under temporary powers until the Special Roads Act had been passed.WEB,weblink M1 Belfast to Dungannon and M12 to Craigavon, Motorway Archive, The Motorway Archive Trust, 31 December 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 October 2007, Work on the motorways continued until the 1970s when the oil crisis and The Troubles both intervened causing the abandonment of many schemes.WEB,weblink Westlink (M1 to M2), Motorway Archive, The Motorway Archive Trust, 31 December 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 October 2007,



File:Jolls Bridge on the F3 Freeway - north of Hawkesbury River, N.S.W..jpg|thumb|right|The M1 Pacific Motorway is the major road transport link between the cities of Sydney and BrisbaneBrisbaneAustralia's major cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, feature a network of freeways within their urban areas, while Canberra, Adelaide, 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 (F3)), Sydney–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/Motorway connecting Sydney and Melbourne and the M23 Federal Highway spur route that connects Canberra with 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/Motorway connecting Sydney and Brisbane is 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 connects 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 roads.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.

New Zealand

(File:motorway begins nz -vector.svg|left|80px)The term Motorway in New Zealand encompasses multilane divided freeways as well as narrower two- to four-lane undivided expressways with varying degrees of grade separation; the term Motorway describes the legal traffic restrictions rather than the type of road.BOOK, Manual of Traffic Signs and Markings (MOTSAM), Part 3: Motorways and Expressways, NZ Transport Agency, June 2009, 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 {{convert|5|km|mi|adj=on|spell=in}} motorway now forms the southern part of the Johnsonville-Porirua Motorway and part of State Highway 1.WEB, Transit New Zealand, FAQs,weblink 21 March 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 June 2008, dmy-all, 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 Southern Motorway.WEB, CMI Transit,weblink 7 June 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 February 2008, Most major urban areas in New Zealand feature limited-access highways. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin contain motorways, with only Auckland having a substantial motorway network.

See also

  • {{annotated link|List of controlled-access highway systems}}





External links

  • {{commons category-inline|Controlled-access highways}}
  • {{commons category-inline|Motorways}}
{{Road types}}{{Authority control}}

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