6 June 2015
There was a time — and it was a long time ago, admittedly — when I made pages for the Motorway Database and everything was simple. Like the road from London to Southampton. I made a page for it. It's called the M3. Everybody knew where they were.
Nowadays, though, all the easy ones are gone. I'm still sometimes adding new roads to the database, but these days I'm adding fast A-roads that have motorway characteristics, and unfortunately they are rarely simple. Nowhere are they less simple and more confusing than in Wales.
So this week, I've added the continuous expressway from the M5 at Strensham to the M4 at Newport, which is one road but which is variously called M50, A40 and A449. At some point soon I'll add the Heads of the Valleys Road, which is also partly the A40. Before I'm done there will be at least three separate sections of A40 in the Motorway Database which will be listed next to the three separate bits of A38 that are already there. I'm not normally an advocate of road renumbering without good reason, but this week I have been firmly in favour of making some changes in Wales, where apparently no single dual carriageway can have a single number. If necessary I will make the changes myself with a can of spray paint in the dead of night.
Anyway, for now, the problems of what to call roads, where to file them, and how to plead when charged with defacing road signs are mine, not yours. For you, the situation is very simple. What used to be the M50 in the Motorway Database is now the M50, A40 and A449, with a refurbished exit list and updated description. And that's all you need to know.
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