Links

Looking for more roads on the web? The following sites have been hand-picked for your viewing pleasure. They are also handily split into sections, and the sites in each section are now alphabetically listed for your perusal.

UK & regional roads

These sites look either at the whole of the UK road network or specialise in a particular region.

UK

SABRE (The Society for All British Road Enthusiasts)

The first and foremost (and only, actually) forum for the discussion of all things to do with UK roads. It is the hub of all UK road activity on the internet. The comprehensive website features a vibrant discussion group, photo galleries and a detailed database of all numbered roads in the UK.

Major Roads of Great Britain

Perhaps the original UK roads site, though Richard Green no longer updates it. A relaxed question-and-answer style website reflects the slower pace of UK road enthusiasm circa 2002, dealing mostly with the quirks and inaccuracies of the network. Still very informative, and very funny too.

Pathetic Motorways

Steven Jukes explores some of the less impressive motorways across the British road network, including several that don't exist. Along the way there's an examination of the development of the motorway network and a summary of non-existant roads in the 'Might Have Been Map'. Nowhere else in the world can you see video footage of the former A6144(M) route.

Rural Roads

Simon Davies gets away from all those monotonous well-engineered roads and goes in search of enjoyable drives with wonderful scenery. I don't want to spoil the ending, but he succeeds in finding quite a few of them.

The SABRE Files

The site set up by Brad Jackson, which spawned SABRE (above) and which has since been dwarfed by it. It is effectively the origin of all UK road enthusiasm. Brad isn't able to update any longer but the site has been preserved in formaldehyde and is worth reading through if you haven't already had a look.

The UK Motorway Archive

A massive project to document the construction of the UK motorway network, being written by the civil engineers who made it happen in the first place. The website contains a huge amount of information on Britain's roads that is impossible to find elsewhere.

Regional

Biff Vernon's A1 E-Book

A remarkable website dedicated to the A1. It concentrates as much on the history and the 'holistic' side of the A1 as the road itself, and so it covers a broader area than just roads. Very nearly any place of significance touched by the Great North Road is documented here.

Black Cat on A1

Who'd have thought the Black Cat Roundabout on the A1 would have its own website?

David D. Miller's Home Page

David D. Miller's personal site — links are at the top of the page to some very high-quality photos of roads in Scotland. Particularly worth a visit are the pages on the M8 in Glasgow.

From Watford Gap to Camelot

David Craig's eclectic site includes a very long and in-depth article (or perhaps better termed 'mini-site') on the A361 between the A5 and A39 — not just the road, but the places and history it visits on the way.

Glasgow's Motorways

The detailed and enthusiastic site dedicated to Glasgow's extensive motorway network — and the even bigger network that was planned but never built.

Northern Ireland Roads Site

Single-handedly covering the whole of the province, Wesley Johnston details Northern Ireland's roads past and present, and also maintains an impressive breakdown of current and future road schemes. Several larger schemes come complete with regular progress updates and photo galleries.

Route 6

A focus on the A6 and M6 corridors through Lancashire, Cumbria and beyond, looking at the roads themselves as well as their surroundings past and present and the towns that line the route, many of which have histories closely tied to the transport corridor.

Undiscovered Scotland

A guidebook for visitors to all parts of Scotland. Amongst the features on tourist sights and natural wonders, there's also a wealth of well-written articles about some of Scotland's famous roads and bridges, as well as information for motorists visiting Scotland.

Specialist

As more people become interested in the UK's roads, specialisms develop and increasingly new websites are devoted to one particular subject. You'll also find websites here that are to do with the closely related interests of motoring and mapping.

Roads specialisms

Bad Roads

A campaign to recognise the requirements of LGVs, HGVs and other big vehicles in highway design, with examples of road layouts that weren't designed with long vehicles in mind and that cause problems.

British Pathé

The British Pathé site has a huge library of the company's old newsreels available to download and watch for free. Do a search for 'motorway' for plenty of excited sounding material from the road-building heyday of the 1950s and 60s.

Forton (Lancaster) Services

A detailed and well-researched history of Britain's most intriguing service area, Forton Services on the M6, complete with its iconic tower.

Highways Maintenance

An unofficial site written by an engineer who clearly knows what he's doing: it's a how-to guide of road maintenance from blacktop to white line painting. This site tells you everything you ever wanted to know about road maintenance but never found anyone to ask.

Motorway Service Area Trivia

In-depth information on Britain's service areas, including historic information and pictures, and a chance to see exactly what the food is like.

Motorway Services Info

Discussion and debate on the services as they stand today,

Motorway Map

The British motorway network, turned into a handy London Underground-style schematic.

Show me a Sign

Bryn Buck's informed and entertaining blog on the vital but overlooked world of road sign design.

Street Lights Online

Mike Barford's site is arguably the most comprehensive reference there is on British streetlighting. It includes more photos than you can shake a Philips MA 90 with in-lantern control gear at.

Wet Roads

There is no larger or more comprehensive resource on the fords of Britain! Just about every single one is listed here, and many have photos too. It's a wonder Lee Chapman has any time to drive through any of them!

The World's Road Numbering Systems

An extremely impressive catalogue of road numbers from most parts of the world, complete with photos and examples. Well worth a visit.

Motoring

CabbieBlog

Life in London through the windscreen of a black cab — from the trade and the people in the back to the hidden sights and the peculiar history of our biggest city.

Follow the Brown Signs

Littered across the road network are any number of brown tourist signs, often pointing the way to the most obscure and unexpected of attractions. What will you find if you act on the impulse and just follow the brown signs?

How Motorways Work

Somewhere between satirical and downright rude, How Motorways Work is a crash course in the various types of bad driver on Britain's major roads. And who knows — it might even shame a few people to kick their bad habits!

Off Motorway

A guide to 'services' near to motorway junctions — pubs, cafes, restaurants, places to stay the night and more. Under ongoing development but already a useful site.

Mapping

National Library of Scotland: Side by Side

An incredible mapping resource that places historic maps and modern maps side by side, with your mouse cursor mirrored on them both so that you can compare what was once there with what's there now. You can even place two different historic maps side by side. There's coverage of the whole UK and a wide range of historic maps to examine.

New Popular Edition Maps

Take a look at Great Britain as it looked in the Ordnance Survey's New Popular Edition maps of the 1940s. It offers a snapshot of the country immediately before the motorway age.

Old Maps

Coverage of the whole of the UK with Ordnance Survey maps more than 100 years old. If nothing else it's just fascinating to see how things used to look!

Ordnance Survey

The people who make the maps everyone else gets their data from. You can now use the Get-a-Map tool on their site to see an Ordnance Survey map of any location in the UK at any scale they publish.

Streetmap

Not the most beautiful or modern mapping sites, but it does offer coverage of the UK from Ordnance Survey and A-Z at different zoom levels.

Via Michelin

An alternative view of the world from Michelin, the French motoring company which covers much of the world with its own distinctive maps.

International

The British are not the only ones to show an interest in the road network — in fact we started later than most. There's far too many sites (especially the scores of North American ones) to list here, so this is just a small sampling.

AA Roads

A huge American roads site, featuring a very handy set of links to stacks of other American roads sites — see Andy's Kick-Off Page. Has its own collosal photo archive, roadtrip reports, and more.

Autobahn-online.de

A nicely presented and well written German site on the Autobahn network, incuding some great images of the roads from the 1940's and before. Much of the site is also available in English, though more information is available if you can understand the German.

Autoroutes.fr

The French government site explaining the Autoroute franchises and with a handy pricing page so you can have your Euros counted by the time you reach the toll booth. Includes an English version.

Autosnelwegen.nl

Rene Walhout's website on the motorways and roads of the Netherlands, with an outstanding collection of photographs and pieces on the history of one of Europe's oldest motorway networks.

Highway Strip Charts

Andy Tompkins is single-handedly charting the American Interstate system using the Motorway Database page and strip chart format from this site. It's very much an ongoing project (and will take him longer than it took me) but the results so far are well worth a look. It currently requires Internet Explorer running on Windows.

Introduction to Roads in Finland

Matti Grönroos provides a guided tour of the roads of his home country, from road numbering to engineering to snow clearance.

Kurumi

Amid the forest of American roads sites, Kurumi stands out in both humour and content — where else can you find a road-building Java game, or such a concise directory of 3-digit Interstates? There are several parts of CBRD which were inspired by Scott's work.

Panneaux de Signalisation Routiere

Dedicated to French road signs, with some great photos (including silly examples and sign sculpture) and art on the subject. A very enlightening visit if you think road signs only ever appear on a little pole by the side of the road.

Roundabouts USA

A guide to the emerging phenomenon of roundabouts in the USA.

SARA

A kind of SABRE for the French, though with a definite road building angle. Has four member sites, all very interesting, especially if you're able to read French!

Skyscraper City

Vast forums for the discussion of everything relating to the built environment; the Highways and Autobahns forum is of particular interest to CBRD readers.

Politics

Roads and transport are naturally politicised topics, nowhere more so than on the internet. The sites linked to below are a small selection of the numerous campaigns demanding action for, against and about roads, as well as sites published by government bodies and others responsible for the highway network. CBRD remains impartial on these issues.

Campaigns

ABD (Association of British Drivers)

The ABD promotes the rights and interests of the British motorist and is the most vocal part of the pro-motoring lobby in the UK. It has some interest in road construction but also promotes legal and policy change.

The Campaign for Better Transport

One of the UK's most venerable environmentalist campaigns opposing expansion of road transport, formerly known as Transport 2000. It campaigns for a particular kind of "better" transport — namely reduced reliance on road traffic.

RoadFile

A campaign established in 2002 attempting to secure sustained investment in the UK road network. It appears to be resuming the work done by the British Road Federation until the 1980s in lobbying for road construction.

Speedlimit

Peter Edwardson's website on speed limits, traffic control and enforcement, and in particular speed cameras and traffic calming. While Peter's views are clear, this is not the rant that is often found on this subject; instead the site offers considered essays weighing the debate.

Government

Department for Transport

The DfT has ultimate responsibility for UK roads. Until May 2002 this was the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, but that was only since it stopped being theDepartment for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, which was the new name for the plain old Department of Transport in 1997. It's a wonder they get any work done.

DMRB (Design Manual for Roads and Bridges)

Fancy building yourself a motorway? This is the book you need — the manual consulted by draughtsmen and traffic engineers when they want to know how to time traffic lights or what the geometry of a roundabout should be. It's all handily converted to PDF format.

The Highways Agency

The DfT's executive agency for trunk roads in England. This body maintains and upgrades the motorways and trunk A-roads. The website is very informative, with information on all their present and upcoming schemes and details of what exactly they do.

Lancashire County Council: Historic Highways

Probably the most interesting government roads website there is, from a road enthusiast point of view. Lancashire is responsible for the UK's first motorway and Britain's first centre line. Here they present well-written histories of many of their major roads and motorways.

PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Traffic Safety)

A source of documents and research on traffic safety in the UK, from the people who advise the Government and help to set national policy.

Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland is a new agency of the Scottish Executive which now has responsibility for road and rail transport across the country. Their website brings together the Executive's transport policy, plans and network information in one useful resource.

TSRGD 2002 (Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions)

The latest edition of the UK's road sign manual is available online. Scroll past the directive text to find the road sign diagrams in .GIF format. A careful search on the DfT website (above) will locate the same diagrams in vector format as PDF files.

Other modes of transport

Roads are not the only way to get around, and if you're interested in the subject you might well take an interest in other forms of transport too. Similar subjects to those covered by CBRD are explored for rail, underground and other types of transport here.

Abandoned Lines and Railways

Overground, underground but no longer wandering free — a mammoth exploration of all that is disused but once ran on rails.

Abandoned Tube Stations

Explore those stations on the London Underground that have fallen out of use. Extensive photo-tours lead you around places that few of us would otherwise see!

Calling All Stations

A blog regularly updated with rail and Underground news, and also unique and insightful video reports.

London Reconnections

Stay up to date with developments in London transport with London Reconnections, the rightly famous blogging website for detailed explorations of current projects across London.

London Transport E-Plates

The surprisingly complex and historic story of London's peculiarly detailed bus stops: from E plates to Q plates and everything in between.

Underground History

Hywel Williams' well-produced and fascinating website on the history of the London Underground network, with an exploration of many of its abandoned stations and disused tracks.