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Motorway

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Motorway
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M54 near Featherstone, Staffordshire - Geograph - 391701.jpg
M54 motorway
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Special Road • All-purpose Road • Smart Motorway

A motorway is a road designated for the exclusive use of certain types of motorised traffic. They are usually built to high standards, often three or four lanes in each direction with a hard shoulder for emergency use. They are generally intended for strategic traffic - passenger and goods - and to carry heavy flows of traffic.

Despite common belief, motorway is a legal term, not an engineering term - it is entirely permissible for a motorway to exist as a single carriageway road (here is a list of examples), and it may contain traffic lights and roundabouts along its length. Equally, high-standard roads are not automatically motorways.

In the United Kingdom motorways are signed in blue, and have a separate numbering system to the rest of the network. They are legally defined as a Special Road limited to Class I (cars, motorcycles and light vans with pneumatic tyres) and Class II traffic (goods vehicles and military vehicles).

In the Republic of Ireland, motorways are considered to be part of the relevant National Route, and motorway restrictions (defined under s.43 of the Roads Act 1993) can be applied using legislation laid out under s.49 of the act.

Types of Motorway

Conventional Motorway

HE states that a Conventional Motorway is one which typically has 3 lanes in each direction (can vary though), a Hard Shoulder, and some technology, in practice any motorway that hasn't been upgraded to a smart motorway. Some A roads with Motorway designation also fall into this category such as the A1(M)

Smart Motorway

Since 2006 HE has been upgrading motorways into Smart Motorways by turing the Hard Shoulder into an extra running lane. These motorways have additional technology and Variable Speed limits as well as Emergency Refuge Areas.

Expressway

An expressway is a new official term used by HE for upgrading an All-purpose Road Dual Carriageway into a Motorway alike designation. These roads typically only have 2 lanes, however some due for this upgrade currently have 3 or 4 lanes in each direction. These roads will have Emergency Refuge Areas and some technology (somewhere between the amount on a Conventional Motorway and a smart Motorway). These roads will have the road numbers changed this is likely to be getting an (M) on the end of their A numbers.


Videos

M62 J26 to J27

Travelling along the M62 from the roundabout under J26 heading up the eastbound sliproad and through the roadworks

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M62 J27 to J28

Travelling along the M62 eastbound through the roadworks

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M66 Motorway Southbound

A southbound trip along entire length of the M66 motorway. As well as the front view, there is a rearview mirror.

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M67 Motorway Eastbound

A trip along entire length of the M67 eastbound. Even though it was filmed off-peak, there were still substantial queues waiting to get into Mottram-in-Longdendale!

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M60 Orbital Anticlockwise

A full anticlockwise loop of Manchester's M60 orbital motorway, starting at J3 (A34) and ending at J2 (A560) one orbit later. There's a contraflow on the north-east section

Watch video > >




Motorway
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Motorway Font - Coppermine - 4861.JPGSh1-dunedin.jpgSh16-mway1.jpgSh16-20.jpgSh20-tunnel.jpg
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