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What is CBRD?
CBRD is a home for all manner of information on the roads of mainland Britain and sometimes also Northern Ireland. It was set up in August 2001 when I started thinking that there were no other sites on the internet that did this and that one was needed, to satisfy my own interests if nothing else.
While researching the site, and having one last look around before putting this site up, I stumbled across the original SABRE website and realised I was not alone. I found myself emailing SABRE's author, Brad, with those infamous words "I thought I was the only one", which have been uttered by the majority of people who have joined in the community since.
However, SABRE didn't cover everything I thought needed to be done so I put my own site online anyway, and before long found that there were a surprising number of people who wanted to read about this stuff.
CBRD stands for Chris's British Road Directory, which is a terrible choice of name, and that's why you only ever see the acronym on the site these days. I'd change it but it's too well established now.
Once upon a time CBRD was updated weekly. That doesn't happen any more, and in fact the site took an extended break between summer 2012 and autumn 2014. It's now returned in a slightly slimmed-down format with a less regular update schedule.
What does CBRD do?
Why call it 'CBRD'?
Back in the summer of 2001 I didn't seriously expect anyone else would look at my little collection of pages. So I gave it the first name I thought of. I'd like to think I have learned my lesson.
CBRD is here to provide information and entertainment to anyone interested in the road network of the UK. It has some fun stuff and quite a lot of serious research and information, presented in a bright, friendly and digestible way.
CBRD has helped out all sorts of people over the years.
- There have been numerous press enquiries, from publications such as The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and Local Transport Today to organizations like BBC Local Radio.
- Both enquiries and information have come from the roads "industry", from contracting companies and local government to the RAC. The AA published material from the British Roads FAQ in some of its 2006 maps.
- The site has helped out a Japanese highway research project and made a contribution to Turkish road safety.
- It's on the BBC's internal list of useful web resources and used as an information source for some radio travel reports.
- According to one source, CBRD is widely read in the Transport Research Laboratory, and has been used and quoted in academic research and consultants' reports several times.
To cap it off, the Highways Agency and Department for Transport have been known to refer some queries here when they couldn't provide the answers themselves.
CBRD regularly provides research for homeworks and historical investigations, and has regular visitors from around the world. It is the biggest UK roads website on the internet.
Who is this Chris person?
Chris is no longer in his twenties and therefore not interested in discussing his age here in any meaningful detail. He is from Leeds, but lives in South London. The Daily Telegraph describes him as "not at all geeky", which is nice of them, but perhaps a little wide of the mark.
He passed his driving test in December 2006 on the first attempt, having run the biggest website on the subject of British roads for the previous five years. A few years later he finally got a car.
He is employed by a certain organisation noted for its work in British Broadcasting, and spends his days messing about in radio studios. He's not sure how he manages to get paid for enjoying himself in this way.
He writes about himself in the third person.
A word of thanks to everyone who visits the site. Since August 2001, CBRD has picked up a number of regular visitors and contributors (the number of whom never fails to astound me). Whether you drop by every week without fail to see if there's a new update, or you just came here once, by accident, to find out what HATO stands for, thank you for taking an interest and giving me a reason to carry on.
With thanks to Mark Kendrick for the stunning photography on this page.
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