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Old February 9th, 2013, 07:46 AM   #1561
OulaL
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The distances between control cities are ridiculous anyway when compared to most European countries, I dare to say. Örebro would make a good control city for both E18 and E20, as well as Jönköping and Umeå for E4.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 12:50 PM   #1562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OulaL View Post
Speaking of Jönköping - why is the route between Stockholm and Gothenburg signposted via Örebro and not Jönköping? All I can see is that the latter would be both shorter and faster (with more motorway).
The reason is that the Traffic administration have rules that says that the sign should have the name of the city where the road ends, not based the best route.
This have caused loads of people to drive E20 instead, it's lessen a bit now with the introduction of GPS.
Many years ago I heard that you could get insurance problems if you had a crash while driving between Gothenburg and Stockholm via Jönköping since it wasn't the "correct" route. Not sure how true this is, but it sounds a bit iffy to me.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #1563
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It doesn't have to point to where the road ends, just take Rv31 for example. Points to Kalmar, but ends in Nybro.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 04:38 PM   #1564
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The reason is that the Traffic administration have rules that says that the sign should have the name of the city where the road ends, not based the best route.
Eh? E20 doesn't end in Gothenburg, it doesn't end in Sweden at all for that matter. Neither does E4 end in Stockholm or Sundsvall etc...

So as mid-route cities are signposted anyway, what would be wrong with signing Örebro from Stockholm and Gothenburg from Örebro...
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Old February 9th, 2013, 05:04 PM   #1565
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The routing of the E20 suggests that, somehow, the Swedish powers that be consider this to be the better route between Stockholm and Göteborg. If that is your starting point, I can perfectly understand the choice of the focal point on the route. Örebro is just five times smaller, and by Swedish standards I would say that Göteborg is not too far out to use as control city.

The bigger question is who ever throught that this detour was the better route between Stockholm and Göteborg.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 01:10 PM   #1566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OulaL View Post
Speaking of Jönköping - why is the route between Stockholm and Gothenburg signposted via Örebro and not Jönköping? All I can see is that the latter would be both shorter and faster (with more motorway).

Is this (or has this been), perhaps, a political issue in Örebro or somewhere?
It is a political issue related not to Örebro but to history.

During the old good days the things were in a good shape: Olof Palme was still alive, the Swedes believed that Sweden lies in the center of the Universe, and the longest European routes E3 and E4 run through Sweden, being sort of crown jewels.

Then dark clouds begun to appear: In the new AGR agreement, The United Nations planned to violently steal the good E3 and E4 routes from Sweden, and to replace them with substandard numbers E37 and E55. The plan introduced a new route E20 to run from Malmö to Ystad, and further to Tallinn.

Sweden was very upset. It was more upset that France in the Meridian Congress of 1884, when the delegates proposed the prime meridian to be located in London instead of Paris.

Norway and Finland did not have that strong opinions about the proposed agreement. Still, they joined Sweden to resist the change, and there was a period of a few years when there were two different European route systems in Europe. Those countries made a proposal to revise and new numbering scheme, and that was approved later. The new plan introduced the current extraordinary E20 route Malmö-Gothenburg-Stockholm, and made it possible to retain a "good" number on the Stockholm-Gothenburg route instead of dropping the road into a mud class having the number E37.

Thus, because of sticking in number mysticism and pretending the Gothenburg-Örebro-Stockholm route is a major one, Sweden cannot raise Örebro into a state of a control city.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #1567
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Actually, the main reasons they wanted to keep the old numbering in Sweden (and Norway) were that the number had been ingrained into our culture (the E4 being the backbone of Sweden) and the costs associated with renumbering all signs. Thus Norway and Sweden got to keep E4 and E6. E18 was incidentally assigned the same number in the new system and the rest were accepted changes.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #1568
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I'm not sure whether I follow. Having one numbered route from Malmö via Göteborg to Stockholm is one thing, routing it as a detour via Örebro rather than via Jönköping is another thing. Could the rationale behind that latter step be that Sweden believed that its proposal would not stand much chance when routing the E20 via Jönköping, as that route would fully consist of duplexes with E4 and E6 but for the 140 kms between Göteborg and Jönköping?
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Old February 10th, 2013, 10:19 PM   #1569
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A fair question, but since the "old" E3 number also was signed along the Örebro detour, it's difficult to see that anything changed with the renumbering. I once read that the Swedish road authorities for some reason didn't want the Göteborg-Jönköping road signed as an E route (at some point under the old system, some maps suggested that the rv 40 in reality was the E66...). I don't know why, though.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 11:30 PM   #1570
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Could have been for any reason, maybe a form of promotion of the region or "exposing" a particular part of the nation to a European route. The recent extensions to E45 and E16 are not exceptions, it seems. It was this type of thinking that seemingly also is the rationale behind the E6 detour between Oslo and Trondheim. It seems to be part of Nordic politics (starting in the Nordic part of the Netherlands, viz. the Dutch routing of E22). I'm not sure whether it is actually a good thing ...

Alternatively, with the difference between the two routes being as little as 7 kilometers, it cannot be excluded that the route via Örebro was in fact the quicker route at one stage. A factor like a lower number of villages, easier terrain or lower traffic numbers in comparison with the E4 could have made the difference. But whatever once might have been has been overturned with the ongoing upgrades to the E4 and Rv40.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #1571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OulaL View Post
The distances between control cities are ridiculous anyway when compared to most European countries, I dare to say. Örebro would make a good control city for both E18 and E20, as well as Jönköping and Umeå for E4.
"Ridiculous" is rather a strong word here. The routing policy in Sweden is rather logical: There are less control cities on the long-haul routes E4, E18, E20 etc, and more on the regional ones. I cannot see any benefit on showing Jönköping in Stockholm instead of Helsingborg.

I do not think there are pan-European rules on this. The distances are typically rather short because most of the European counties are small by area. In the bigger countries, you can see rather long distances between the control cities, too.

https://maps.google.fi/?ll=45.033714...338.66,,1,1.11

https://maps.google.fi/?ll=45.83401,...40.39,,1,-1.03

https://maps.google.fi/?ll=43.284375...127.49,,0,3.94

https://maps.google.fi/?ll=69.690911...342.41,,1,1.49

https://maps.google.fi/?ll=48.180452...59.57,,2,-1.26
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Old February 11th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #1572
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An example of rather short distances:
https://maps.google.se/?ll=56.029903...,98.66,,0,1.55
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Old February 11th, 2013, 02:52 PM   #1573
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Originally Posted by Aphelion View Post
An example of rather short distances:
https://maps.google.se/?ll=56.029903...,98.66,,0,1.55
Well yes - but if there wasn't Kalmar on E22, what would there be? SödertäljeNorrköping would be misleading, even more misleading than Gothenburg on E20.

Last edited by OulaL; February 11th, 2013 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Norrköping of course
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Old February 11th, 2013, 02:58 PM   #1574
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Yes, it largely has to do with the detour it would be driving from Malmö to Norrköping using the E22 instead of the E6+E4. Driving any longer than north of Kalmar from Malmö is probably not worth it using the E22 (as of now).
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Old February 11th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #1575
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aphelion View Post
An example of rather short distances:
https://maps.google.se/?ll=56.029903...,98.66,,0,1.55
Still those legs are rather long: Malmö-Kalmar about 280 km plus Kalmar-Norrköping 250 km.

There are roads split into several legs in terms of signage, like

9: Trelleborg-Ystad-Simrishamn-Kristianstad
25: Halmstad-Växjö-Kalmar
34: Kalmar-Vimmerby-Linköping-Motala
55 Northbound: Norrköping-Katrineholm-Strängnäs-Uppsala
99: Haparanda-Övertorneå-Pajala-Karesuando

This matches with my understanding about the policy: Long-haul routes having long legs and regional ones having shorter ones. The policy is, of course, not ultra-consistent: see 26 Halmstad-Jönköping-Katrineholm-Mora.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #1576
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
"Ridiculous" is rather a strong word here. The routing policy in Sweden is rather logical: There are less control cities on the long-haul routes E4, E18, E20 etc, and more on the regional ones. I cannot see any benefit on showing Jönköping in Stockholm instead of Helsingborg.

I do not think there are pan-European rules on this. The distances are typically rather short because most of the European counties are small by area. In the bigger countries, you can see rather long distances between the control cities, too.
There are certainly no pan-European rules on this. All there is is a shared objective among all countries to serve the motorist as well as can be done. While this has resulted in many differences in the style of signposting between the countries, you could still identify some shared thinking when it comes to selecting your control cities. When doing so, I would say that distance between control cities is more of a function of population density than of size of the country. England, Italy and Germany are big enough, but with their population spread over many cities spread relatively equally over the country, major centres that can serve as control cities are never really far away. Accordingly, distances on most distance signs are relatively low. You will find some stand-out values in Germany (including the sign to Berlin that you posted), but you can drive long ways over German motorways without seeing any reference in excess of 300 kms. Then compare that to what you generally see in France, Spain and the Nordics. Those countries have vast 'empty' spaces in between the major population centres. The nearest 50,000+ city can be a few hundred kilometers away and, hey presto, you get large distances between control cities.

So in the sparsely populated area that is Sweden, distances between control cities grow naturally, particularly further up north. Apart from the big three of Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö (and in a way Oslo), you just need to pick one town that is not too far away but not too close either. On longer distance routes, one would be more tempted to increase the distance between control cities than on a regional route. The fact that the E4 reveals the largest interdistances is not too surprising.

In a way, I would not really mind if they interposed Jönköping as a control city on the E4. But if you started making that type of cases for Jönköping, then you can bet that Norrköping, Linköping and Uppsala would also jump in with a claim to being a control city on the E4. And then Gävle would claim a place between Uppsala and Sundsvall, since Gävle is bigger than Sundsvall. And if all that occurred, long-distance driving in Sweden would become a completely different ballgame. Not one that is impossible to implement, but it would require some further thinking about signposting in general.

By the way, could the E4, the E6 and other long-distance routes in the Nordics be served by alternative control cities like NORTH and SOUTH? It might just be an addition if you are caught short on large enough towns to signpost ...
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Last edited by -Pino-; February 11th, 2013 at 04:11 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #1577
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By the way, could the E4, the E6 and other long-distance routes in the Nordics be served by alternative control cities like NORTH and SOUTH? It might just be an addition if you are caught short on large enough towns to signpost ...
Shorter, you could use "E4s" and "E4n" in interchanges - which is what they actually do somewhere in Sweden (and respectively, for instance, E20v and E20ø in Denmark). Especially when the entry ramps to different directions are far from each other. And still they use a city name in the signs.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 07:04 PM   #1578
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I've seen that slightly further from the motorway, for example in Stockholm where they point you to an interchange north of the city centre when heading in the direction of Uppsale and to an interchange elsewhere when heading in the direction of Södertalje. I do not recall having seen it at the actual interchange, but then again, my driving experience in Sweden is very much limited.

In any case, adding those suffixes to the route numbers is a good start, but you could actually expand on it by using it in more places and more prominently - as I mentioned, almost as a control city with the actual town that forms the focal point very much taking a secondary role on the signs. I have seen pictures of old on the Italian A3, where they used Nord and Sud instead of the current Salerno and Reggio Calabria. To be honest, I liked to old ones better...
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Old February 11th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #1579
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It was this type of thinking that seemingly also is the rationale behind the E6 detour between Oslo and Trondheim.
Well, the E6 story is somewhat different. The two "traditional" north-south links in Norway were along the two railway lines - Røros and later Dovre. Røros is longer, albeit lower and less exposed. The Dovre link runs through the more populated Gudbrandsdal, with links to the western part of the country as well. Thus, the old rv 50 followed that route, and it was natural that the E6 kept that route. However, when the rv 3 Kvikne link finally became a viable option, it was shorter and the mountain crossing as easy as the Røros one, but by then, the E6 link was already established.

Today, as a pure long-distance network road, the rv 3 is obviously the better option, but the E6 is still for the most part considerably busier and a more important link to a larger part of the country. I cannot really see any such argument for the E20/old E3. There's nothing wrong with posting both as secondary E routes in my book, but that's not happening, apparently. In this age of GPS, it's not terribly important either.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 08:20 PM   #1580
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The area around Örebro has traditionally had some industrial significance, plus the area is, by Swedish standards, relatively densely populated. Not too dissimilar from the Norwegian E6 situation. From a route network perspective, too, there are comparable arguments too, since the current route of the E20 opens up an important region to traffic from the South, while Rv40 out of Göteborg does little else than being a spur route between Göteborg and the backbone of Sweden called E4.

So I can see some rationale here for having an E-route between Göteborg and the E18 at Örebro. Things have just turned a bit farcical with the way it is presented as the main Stockholm to Göteborg route, or a route that has such prime European importance that it deserves the rather odd routing of E20 through Sweden. But that's the crown jewel discussion already mentioned.
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