Ministry of Transport Road Maps and NI Road Maps

Talk about items you find on SABRE Maps - interesting features, historic road layouts etc. Also contains announcements of new maps available on SABRE Maps.

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Ministry of Transport Road Maps and NI Road Maps

Post by Steven » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:36

For those of you that aren't familiar with the OS Ministry of Transport Road Map series, they were the official map series to show classified roads within Great Britain right back in the first days of road numbering; so they're utterly invaluable to us. This is why the MoT map series was one of the first maps that were brought to SABRE Maps, and why we have the largest collection of them available to the public, anywhere.

So, for the first time in what feels like a very long time, there's a new MoT map sheet been added to SABRE Maps - which is Sheet 19 (Norwich and Great Yarmouth) from 1924-25. There's a few changes on there from the revisions we have to either side, so why don't you take a look and see what you can see?
Last edited by Steven on Wed Oct 13, 2021 18:34, edited 1 time in total.
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From the SABRE Wiki: OS Ministry of Transport Road Map :


The Ministry of Transport Road Map (colloqually known as MoT Maps) series were the official maps to show classified roads, following their publication by the Ministry of Transport on 1st April, 1923. As such, they are possibly the most important resource documenting the early days of road numbering in Great Britain.

The equivalent mapping in Northern Ireland was the Road Map of Northern Ireland


[[File:MoT map key 1922-23.JPG|thumb|right|1922-23 edition

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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Steven » Sat Feb 13, 2021 09:55

Another rare MoT map has been added to SABRE Maps today (Sheet 10, York and Kingston-upon-Hull), one of only 300 copies produced with none seemingly surviving in any of the legal deposit libraries.

It's one of those very late MoT maps from 1936-37 most easily differentiated from earlier maps by their use of purple for B-class roads rather than the earlier use of green, and shows the road network on them after the large renumbering of 1935.
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Chris Bertram » Sat Feb 13, 2021 13:35

Interesting in that some roads seem to be "drawn on", i.e. there is a coloured line but no road on the map underneath it. See A614 at Howden, A63 between North Cave and South Cave, and A1105 near Hessle.
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Steven » Sat Feb 13, 2021 13:55

Chris Bertram wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 13:35
Interesting in that some roads seem to be "drawn on", i.e. there is a coloured line but no road on the map underneath it. See A614 at Howden, A63 between North Cave and South Cave, and A1105 near Hessle.
Yes, it's because the base map is an older OS Half Inch sheet in outline style, and the A and B roads are overprints. It does look weird though, as the overprint also goes over text, features and so on from the base map.
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by vlad » Sat Feb 13, 2021 20:02

Chris Bertram wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 13:35
Interesting in that some roads seem to be "drawn on", i.e. there is a coloured line but no road on the map underneath it. See A614 at Howden, A63 between North Cave and South Cave, and A1105 near Hessle.
They've been doing that on the MoT maps since pretty much the beginning, as it's not worth updating the base map just to add a new road.

However, I can't link to any other examples as I can't think of any off the top of my head!
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Stevie D » Sat Feb 13, 2021 21:15

Chris Bertram wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 13:35
Interesting in that some roads seem to be "drawn on", i.e. there is a coloured line but no road on the map underneath it. See A614 at Howden, A63 between North Cave and South Cave, and A1105 near Hessle.
There are also quite a few points where the red line is just slapped down approximately and doesn't follow the course of the road very closely (eg Rawcliffe, and between Snaith and Carlton)

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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Ross Spur » Sun Feb 14, 2021 09:19

Stevie D wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 21:15
There are also quite a few points where the red line is just slapped down approximately and doesn't follow the course of the road very closely (eg Rawcliffe, and between Snaith and Carlton)
East Riding County Council completed quite a few road straightening schemes in the 1920s and 1930s and was also trying to free the County of toll bridges (Selby was the one that got away, until the bypass). The Rawcliffe straightening was completed in 1935 and Snaith to Carlton is Carlton_New_Bridge, opened in 1927.
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From the SABRE Wiki: Carlton New Bridge :

Carlton New Bridge is a crossing of the River Aire, and was opened on 10 September 1927, replacing the old toll bridge. The bridge is a box girder bridge, It provided an alternative route for traffic from the East Midlands to York, avoiding Doncaster. The A1041 multiplexes with A645 across the bridge. North Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils are the joint Highway authorities.


Since 1911 the rural authorities of Goole and Selby, and

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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Steven » Mon May 17, 2021 18:44

Another one of those mega-rare 300 copies only late MoT Maps has been added to SABRE Maps today - Sheet 12 (Liverpool, Manchester and Chester).

I love this. Loads of short-lived B-roads, and the only MoT map to have the A580 Liverpool - East Lancashire Road on it. In short, it's brilliant!
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by c2R » Mon May 17, 2021 20:33

Something I didn't realise until this map made it very obvious is that the A580 splits into two in Liverpool, it did then, and still does! I've obviously not paid attention to our wiki page on the subject!
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Bryn666 » Tue May 18, 2021 10:07

c2R wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 20:33
Something I didn't realise until this map made it very obvious is that the A580 splits into two in Liverpool, it did then, and still does! I've obviously not paid attention to our wiki page on the subject!
I always thought the split was a later invention - that said, the extension down past Goodison Park does seem to be later than this map shows. No surprise, it's really another mish-mash of city streets there that just now happen to be a dual carriageway.

I think it was Peter who originally stated the East Lancs simply "dissolved" at either end, and he wasn't wrong.
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Bryn666 » Tue May 18, 2021 10:12

The line of what's now the A58 Beaumont Road around the west side of Bolton is wrong on this map too - the line shown is now where a housing estate lies. It does at least explain why the B6402 is so pointless today, as it is a mere corner cut. At the time it was at least a western bypass pending the completion of Moss Bank Way.

Also spot the A675 running down Crompton Way.

I have always said the A58 'ring road' is so far out from the town centre that it is actually slower to take it than still to go through the middle of Bolton. A very poorly planned road network all told.
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by wrinkly » Tue May 18, 2021 11:38

Bryn666 wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 10:07
I think it was Peter who originally stated the East Lancs simply "dissolved" at either end, and he wasn't wrong.
As a child I lived near the Salford end of the A580. I don't think I would say it dissolved. It was one of three radial roads (with the A6 and A666) which combined into one as you enter the densely urban area. Quite an abrubpt end.

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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Bryn666 » Tue May 18, 2021 12:02

wrinkly wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 11:38
Bryn666 wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 10:07
I think it was Peter who originally stated the East Lancs simply "dissolved" at either end, and he wasn't wrong.
As a child I lived near the Salford end of the A580. I don't think I would say it dissolved. It was one of three radial roads (with the A6 and A666) which combined into one as you enter the densely urban area. Quite an abrubpt end.
Yes, it slammed into Bolton Road, which eventually widened out into a six lane single carriageway around Pendleton - it dissolved in the sense it was just dumped into existing roads with no obvious plans for improvement. Hence the rather horrendous 1970 Broad Street Expressway, which is one of the ugliest urban roads ever constructed.
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Ritchie333 » Tue May 18, 2021 12:07

Steven wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 18:44
Another one of those mega-rare 300 copies only late MoT Maps has been added to SABRE Maps today - Sheet 12 (Liverpool, Manchester and Chester).

I love this. Loads of short-lived B-roads, and the only MoT map to have the A580 Liverpool - East Lancashire Road on it. In short, it's brilliant!
I bow down to you, Mr Jukes. I am not worthy. :bow:
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Steven » Tue May 18, 2021 13:40

Ritchie333 wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 12:07
Steven wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 18:44
Another one of those mega-rare 300 copies only late MoT Maps has been added to SABRE Maps today - Sheet 12 (Liverpool, Manchester and Chester).

I love this. Loads of short-lived B-roads, and the only MoT map to have the A580 Liverpool - East Lancashire Road on it. In short, it's brilliant!
I bow down to you, Mr Jukes. I am not worthy. :bow:
:laugh: :laugh:

I'm really pleased that you like it!
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by Steven » Sat Jun 19, 2021 09:55

From the only MoT map to have the A580 East Lancs road on it, we have a set of additional MoT maps, including the earliest MoT map to (at least partially) feature its predecessor, the A4123 Wolverhampton - Birmingham New Road.

As usual, there's loads of late 1920s and early 1930s goodies on this lot on the 1929-32 layer:

* Sheet 12 (Liverpool, Manchester and Chester) 1929-30
* Sheet 22 (Worcester and Ludlow) 1929-30
* Sheet 35 (SW Cornwall and Scilly Isles) 1930-31
* Sheet 36 (Plymouth, Torquay and Exeter) 1930-31
* Sheet 40 (Chatham, Margate and Hastings) 1930-31

On top of those five, we've also acquired a new copy of the 1927-28 revision of Sheet 39 (Brighton) to replace the somewhat dirty copy we had available previously.

Incidentally, that means that we now have every revision of 15 of the 40 sheets of England and Wales online; as well as 22 of the 34 Scottish sheets - although the latter is a bit cheating as most Scottish sheets only had a single revision!
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps

Post by c2R » Sun Jun 20, 2021 00:00

You're right that there's a lot of interesting stuff here - I've made a few updates to the wiki and added a couple of mapboxes to show off the new maps.

Re: Cornwall - it's really quite amazing how much changed in 1935, numbering wise - they appeared to go on a bit of a Class II>Class I renumbering spree!
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps and NI Road Maps

Post by Steven » Wed Oct 13, 2021 18:38

After literally years of having a dissected copy of the 1926 Northern Ireland Road Map, the first edition of the MoT Map equivalent for Northern Ireland, we finally (thanks to Lonewolf's photo manipulation skills) have a copy online!

It's not in the greatest of conditions as it looks like the maps were all dissected together, and then placed on the backing cloth, so the squares left simply don't match up quite properly, presumably because the individual sections aren't actually from the same original map.

So, enjoy the new map, and if anyone has a good non-dissected copy of the map, please let me know!

The map can be found in the NI Road Map layer group.
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Re: Ministry of Transport Road Maps and NI Road Maps

Post by c2R » Wed Oct 13, 2021 22:26

That's fantastic, thanks to Wolfie for putting this all together.

That narrows down the B11_(Northern_Ireland) as being very short-lived indeed...
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From the SABRE Wiki: B11 (Northern Ireland) :

In the original 1923 Road Lists, the A2 coast road did not actually cover the entire coast of Northern Ireland. There was a gap in east County Down, between Donaghdee and Clough, which was instead originally numbered B11. The gap in the A2 was filled by at least 1926 with that road taking

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