|The Aston Expressway, A38(M)|
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An Expressway is an official term used by the Department for Transport and Highways England to describe Dual Carriageway Trunk Roads that are mostly grade separated, mostly dual carriageway and capable of providing mile a minute speeds outside of urban areas. They are designed to be capable of providing motorway standard journeys that are reliable and resilient to delay. They are also designed to be as safe as motorways, but are generally built where a motorway is not needed, normally because the traffic demand isn't there to fill one.
Expressway is also part of the official name of some roads, for example the Runcorn Expressways, the A38 Devon Expressway, A5300 Knowsley Expressway near Liverpool, the A38(M) Aston Expressway in Birmingham, and the M6 Toll, referred to on signs as the Midland Expressway.
Expressways have been around for many years, although most have not been named as such. The A12 in East Anglia, the A14, the A50 from the M1 to Stoke and the A30 from Honiton to Camborne have, for many years, been dual carriageways for most of their distances and have provided a high standard of performance, breathing life into areas that needed them, and providing relief to those who were plagued by traffic through the years. Some even carry traffic levels higher than some motorways and as a result are now being upgraded to cope.
Although the term only applies in England for Dual Carriageways on the Strategic Road Network, there are several roads that are under the control of a local authority that could be classified as expressways. These include the A380 from the A38 to the East Devon Coast, the A338 Wessex Way and the A130 from Benfleet to Chelmsford. The Heads of the Valleys Road (A465) in Wales and the A720 in Scotland are also good examples of roads that could be Expressways.
December 2017 proposals
In December 2017, further details were given about expressways as part of a report into the Strategic Road Network. The proposal includes different expressway types (of I - IV) with an aspiration that the highest quality expressways will be given motorway designation and an Ax(M) number. (Source: Highways England Strategic Road Network Initial Report)
Phase 1: a 2-3 lane dual carriageway, with no roundabouts, traffic lights or right turns on the main carriageway, some alternative provision for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, and slow moving vehicles.
Phase 2: replacing central reservation barriers with safer, rigid concrete barriers for these high flow A-road sections.
Phase 3: introduction of technology and operational changes, including Traffic Officer patrol and emergency areas. A scheme may designate as a motorway and prohibit vulnerable road users and slow-moving vehicles if appropriate alternative provision is available, and there are appropriate terminal points.
Phase 4: motorway designation of the complete corridor.
List of official expressways in England
NB includes planned and potential expressways as well as current ones. Only includes trunk roads. Source p49
Where a route uses two diffrent roads but up to 1 junction of one of the roads they are grouped together.
|Current Road||From||To||Current Lanes||Junction Types||Notes|
|D2||Some GSJ, some Roundabouts, some LILO||Many junctions would need to be removed or redesigned to be compliant. The section between J14 and J13 has already been upgraded to expressway standard when it was redesigned to interchange with the new A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon. This section also operates with variable speed limits.|
|D2||Some Roundabouts, many right turns, GSJ at larger roads.||Would require many improvements to junctions as well as providing an alternative route for slow-moving traffic, animals and cyclists.|
|D2||Mostly LILO, does have a few GSJ.||Would require many improvement to junctions as well as providing an alternative route for slow-moving traffic, animals and cyclists. Also, properties are situated along the A1.|
|Denwick Interchange||D2/S2||Many at-grade junctions||Parts still single carriageway|
|M25)(||D4M||All GSJ||Built to motorway standard, with 4 lanes in each direction, full-width hard shoulders, lane control, variable message signs, SOS phones and CCTV.|
|Hook Junction||D2||Majority GSJ|
|Preston Island||D2||No junctions or access||No changes required.|
|/||(expy)||Spondon Roundabout(expy)||D2||1 Roundabout, rest GSJ|
|(expy)||Thickthorn Interchange||D2||Most GSJ, some LILO|
|Mar Dyke||Baker Street Interchange||D3||2 GSJ junctions||Only the short section that connects the M25 to Tilbury (via A1089).|
|(expy)||(expy)||D3ALR/D4AL||All GSJ||This section was opened on 5 May 2020 as part of the finished A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade. Junctions 26-30 inclusive no longer exist, and the scheme finishes at the Girton interchange, still numbered J31. The road is built to Smart Motorway standard and operates as one, with variable speed limits and all-lane running, but the road was not opened as a motorway, despite plans to this end in mid-2019.|
|(expy)||D2/D3||Majority GSJ, few roundabouts such as at A14 J60|
|York Road Interchange(expy)||D2, some urban parts D3||Majority GSJ, are some LILO and even right turns.||South part of route continues as the A168|
|Dover||D2||2 GSJ, then roundabouts and junctions within Dover||Section of A20 that connects the M20 to Dover|
|Pembury Interchange||D2||All GSJ||Unclear where southern end would be, Pembury Interchange would make the most sense since it provides access to the A228 and A264, however that would be within the Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so would be more likely to be at Quarry Hill Interchange or Vauxhall Interchange with the A26.|
|Patcham Interchange||About 60% 3, 40% 2||All GSJ, some properties.|
|Southerham Roundabout||M27 to A3(M) is D4M (originally intended to be, rest is majority D2, one section with D3, and S2 through two towns||Loads of roundabouts, loads of LILO, few right turns and GSJ at larger roads.||An expressway should be able to reach the west side of Chichester due to the road was originally designed to be a motorway. HE currently working on dualling through the towns. Chichester has 6 roundabouts and is extremely congested.|
|66% D2, 34% S2||D2 all GSJ, S2 typical of a normal S2 countryside road.|
|Penzance(expy)||Parts D2, parts S2||GSJ on D2 parts, mostly roundabouts on S2 parts.|
|Palmersford Roundabout||dD2||Mostly LILO or GSJ, few roundabouts and no right turns||Passes through the New Forest National Park, so it would be difficult to close junctions to put traffic onto a new side road.|
|(M40)||D2||All GSJ or LILO|
|Manadon Roundabout||D2, parts are D3||All GSJ||Currently known as the 'Devon Expressway'|
|/||(M1)||D2||Mostly GSJ, except in Derby where there are roundabouts|
|/||Into Wales||D2||Only Roundabouts||is only a short distance into Wales, not clear wether roads in Wales will be upgraded to expressways in the future.|
|D2||Only GSJ||Could be called the M42 and not A42(M)|
|Silverdale Interchange at-grade crossroad and junction||D2||GSJ, Roundabouts and|
|(A14)||Majority D2, S2 on northern end||Currently numbered GSJ (1 to 18) then 2 roundabouts|
|Stivichall Interchange||Tollbar End||D3||GSJ||Makes up the A46 route for 1 junction where the A46 and A45 run in multiplex|
|(M1)||Stivichall Interchange||D3||All GSJ|
|Tollbar End||Walsgrove Triangle||D2||Roundabouts|
|Winthorpe Interchange||2||Mostly GSJ apart from 1 roundabout near Syston and roundabouts in Newark||Has dedicated adjacent local access road for non-motorway traffic|
|Swaffham Interchange||Postwick Interchange||D2 on urban bypasses, S2 elsewhere||GSJ on D2 sections|
|Sideway Interchange(expy)||D2||Mostly GSJ, some roundabouts|
|Spondon Roundabout(expy)||Silverdale Interchange(expy)||D2||Roundabouts and GSJ|
|D2||All GSJ||Contiunes into Wales. Potential to be extension of the M53|
|Ferriby Interchange||D2||All GSJ||Potential extension of the M64|
|(A1(M))||Hopgrove Roundabout||D2||All GSJ|
|Blackwell Roundabout||D2 and S2||Mostly roundabouts, GSJ in Middlesbrough|
|Panners Interchange||D2||Only GSJ|
|(exPy)||Immingham||D2||2 roundabouts||A short spur off the A180 that connects to the Immingham docks.|
|(expy)||D2||All GSJ except the end where it comes non-primary at a roundabout|
|Grimsby||D2||GSJ apart from 3 roundabouts in Grimsby||Potential to be extension of the M180|
|(M2)||Sheerness||D2||All GSJ until on the Island of Sheppy, where it is majority roundabouts.||Notes|
|Penzance(expy)||D2, parts S2||Pretty much all GSJ. Some at-grade junctions when S2.|
|Southfields Roundabout(expy)||Mostly S2, some D2||All at-grade junctions||Mostly single carriageway, however would make up a M3 to M5 expressway with the A303|
|D2||Mostly GSJ, 1 roundabout and a few minor LILO|
|/||D2||Mostly at-grade junctions and roundabout||Would use the A449 which is D2, and a realigned A5 to provide a shorter journey between the north and the west.|
|Black Cat Roundabout||D2||All GSJ||Recently upgraded to dual carriageway.|
|Wyboston Interchange||(expy)||Parts D2 and S2||At-grade for S2 and GSJ for D2|
|Wales||D2||Only GSJ||Would likely be an extension of the M56, unclear how far it would go into Wales|
|D2||Only GSJ||Connects the A50 (expy) to the M6.|
|(expy) Wales||S2||All at-grade||Would require a new road.|
|Newcastle Airport||D2||All GSJ||Short section of the A696 connecting the A1 to the airport|
|(expy)||Tilbury Port||D2||Mostly GSJ, and 1 roundabout|