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Old March 29th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #1
ChrisZwolle
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E-numbering

In Europe, an international numbering of roads is implemented, the most recent version since 1975. It's copied from the American Interstate system, and the numbering is mostly similar. E-numbers are not strictly restricted to Europe only, they also run in the former Soviet Union, but not in the Russian far east.

More recently, additional numbers are added in central Asia, from E001 to E019.

What do you guys think of this numbering? Is it used in your country? Do people refer to E-numbers or in traffic information?

E30 in the Netherlands
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E45 in Germany
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E15 in France
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E40 in Belgium
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E20 in Denmark
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E6 in Sweden
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E90 in Spain
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E44 in Luxembourg
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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:13 AM   #2
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Is there some better map? This one contains old good Czecho-Slovakia, Yugoslavia and Soviet Union.

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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:14 AM   #3
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Almost all Belgian motorways have an E number, so they're used a lot more often than the national A numbers in traffic information and in other conversations.

I personally like them. I can understand it looks a bit weird that we use them more often than the A numbers, but if that's what you hear all your life, you easily get used to it

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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #4
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There are a couple of degrees of E-number implementation

1) Countries that have E-numbers for all their main routes and/or freeways (FIN/N/S/DK/B)
2) Countries that tend to use E-numbers only for freeways, but not all the time (SRB/BG/MK)
3) Countries that sign E-numbers (nearly) everywhere (NL/F/E/P/I/CZ etc.)
4) Countries that poorly sign E-numbers (D)
5) Countries that don't sign E-numbers at all (GB, central asia)
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Old March 29th, 2009, 02:32 AM   #5
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I don't like them, because they don't make much sense. It's more important for them to include cities than draw a straight route.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #6
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I wish that my home country (the UK) would use the "E" numbering system. It doesn't matter thant it's an island....I believe the Republic of Ireland have started using them and they're even more cut off from mainland Europe.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 03:22 AM   #7
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Is it used in your country? Do people refer to E-numbers or in traffic information?

Oh yeah, it is used. Incorrectly. Our journalists and reporters fail very often to distinguish between national numbering and E-numbering. For example they say: “Two people have died in car accident on the road E7”. They don’t realize that National Road 7 (in Polish: Droga Krajowa 7) is a stretch of E77. The same about NR 2 (DK2) and E30: we have “brilliant” results in news as “national road E2”.

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Old March 29th, 2009, 03:37 AM   #8
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In Germany everybody always refers to the national numbering system and does it also abroad.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
I don't like them, because they don't make much sense. It's more important for them to include cities than draw a straight route.
I agree. What should you do with motorways don't have an E-number? When you give them e.g an A-number two different characters are used to indicate motorways, which is not coherent. In that case you'll hear on the radio:

E35 Utrecht-Amsterdam near Abcoude 17 kms of traffic jam due to an accident.
A6 Lelystad-Almere near Almere-Stad 5 kms of traffic jam
E30 Amsterdam-Amersfoort near Baarn 9 kms of traffic jam

That doesn't look very pleasant IMO (and I don't mean the jams )
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Old March 29th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #10
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E-numbers on austrian signs:



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Old March 29th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #11
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Old March 29th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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they sign them here in HR but they are useless. nobody uses them. and they are unlogical because lots of new roads are made and they don't follow thme (actually, they try, but they are signed at all roads too). there are also some unlogical things because some E roads cross borders few times (they were made in Yugoslavia when that was not a problem) or they don't follow the best route. so absolutely useless here.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #13
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E-numbers can easily be used in Belgium and Sweden, because they match with actual motorways. The sole point about Belgium is then that it may be somewhat odd that there is one number for the E40 west of Brussels and east of Brussels, while the routes are not really connected, but that would be it. In many other countries, however, the E-network is full of TOTSOs and is everything but logical.

Take France. In the grid of E-numbers, odd routes should run North-South and even numbers should run East-West. But in France, routes run cross-cross and always via Paris. The French E-numbers seem to be based on the French motorway system of the early 1970s, i.e. almost nothing and very Paris-centered. The Netherlands is not much better. Why don't you just have an E25 that goes South from Amsterdam? Why is there an E35 that runs West from Oberhausen to Amsterdam? And an E30 that goes via the A20, A12, A27, A28 and A1 rather than taking a normal East-West route in the form of the A1 from Amsterdam?

So apart from just a couple of European countries, the E-system is one full of oddities that do not make a good numbering system to actually use. Add that national numbers add flexibility and you'll understand why national numbers take precedence in the vast majority of European countries. In those countries, the E-numbers are just a waste of space on the signs that could actually have been used much better.

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Is there some better map?
The best one I know is at http://www.unece.org/trans/conventn/MapAGR2007.pdf
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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #14
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The main problem in my opinion is that the E-grid is actually a grid with cardinal directions, while many European countries have a radial motorway network centered on the capital and some other cities, so they don't match.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #15
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Belgium's motorway network is pretty radial, but it has implemented a rather logical E-numbering onto it. So it is doable, even though you'd have to accept that the radiales not running east-west or north-south will either be left outside the E-system or be given a three-digit number. Belgium has been consistent by giving a major route like Brussels - Luxembourg a three-digit number. France has not.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #16
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We have E-numbers on our signs in Estonia but they aren't used in traffic information. But then again, people don't use road numbers here at all so...
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Old March 29th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The main problem in my opinion is that the E-grid is actually a grid with cardinal directions, while many European countries have a radial motorway network centered on the capital and some other cities, so they don't match.
that's true, but also there shouldn't be a problem to make it out and to match E roads with important roads in countries. i think that E-numbering scheme need a revision (last was somewhere in the beginning of 1980es)
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Old March 29th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #18
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It surely would be doable (see my attempts on the Dutch forum in respect of The Netherlands and France), but would another revision be worth the hassle? I can't see people ceasing to use their national road numbers and start using the revised E-numbers instead? The E-system may be adapted in order to work better on a European level, but it won't ever gain on national systems that are tailor-made to national situations.

The sole objection against using national numbers only is that international traffic would have to change road numbers on each border crossing. Doing so hasn't ever bothered me on my international travels.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
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that's true, but also there shouldn't be a problem to make it out and to match E roads with important roads in countries. i think that E-numbering scheme need a revision (last was somewhere in the beginning of 1980es)
I agree. Interestingly enough, the old system was better at incorporating main national routes as the main E routes. The new system is more of a carbon copy of the interstate system, and it doesn't appreciate the differences between multi-national Europe and the USA. I understand the reasoning - the roads should pave way to a borderless Europe - but there's still a mile or two to go. However, it seems as though the new motorway systems built in Eastern Europe is becoming part of the E network, and that might improve things. Hopefully, the E65 will be aligned through Albania when their north-south motorways get up and running, for instance...
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Old March 29th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #20
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Also, the US is basically a giant block. Europe is geographic different with more peninsulas such as Scandinavia, Italy, Iberia, the British isles etc, making it less suited for a grid network.
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