If you're stuck at home right now - as most of us are - then perhaps you'd like something to feed your interest in roads and help pass the time. We present the first ever roads.org.uk quiz!
There's no prizes on offer and no penalties if you get one wrong - it's just for fun. For now, though, you're on your own - the answers will only be published in about a week's time.
Some of these are trickier than others, some require more research than others, and some are more cryptically worded than others. It's not designed to be dead easy, it's designed to take some time and some thought… but it is definitely do-able. Good luck!
Round 1: Pick a Number
Here are ten clues to ten roads somewhere in the UK. Each one is a single numbered road. All you have to do is work out which one!
- I didn't exist at all between 1935 and 1989, and my route today is completely different to my original home. According to the rules, I'm in the wrong zone, but I do at least meet the motorway that shares my number.
- My number was swapped with that of another road a long time ago. The other road's number wasn't very important, and mine was wanted to make a more impressive-sounding main road to the South West.
- In the 1980s someone made a motorway version of me hundreds of miles away in Lancashire. I'm not sure why, because I'm not in Lancashire and I never have been; I'm actually the inner ring road in a city.
- Bob Dylan took a journey on me to reach a ferry - there's a famous picture of him standing on the slipway, and I was the only road that could have taken him there. I became a lot less important when the ferry was replaced with a suspension bridge.
- You'll find me orbiting a capital city, but I'm not yet the perfect ring road - my four-digit number sounds unimportant and I don't join up in the middle.
- I'm the motorway spur that has a motorway spur, and I stop for a roundabout in the middle.
- I'm a piece of motorway history, and one of my road signs was in the Highway Code for years and years - but I no longer exist.
- What did Salford, Bolton and Blackburn do to be cursed with a number like this?
- My catchy number once belonged to a bypass in North London, but now I'm a much newer road in the north of England. I'll take you to the airport, if you like, or out shopping with the rich and famous.
- Join me at my starting point to ride on the back of a swine. Stick with me all the way and I'll take you to the spire of an ancient Cathedral city, through the forest and then to the seaside.
Round 2: Picture This
Here are ten pictures from somewhere on the website. All you have to do is work out what road you're looking at in each one.
Round 3: Tricky Trivia
Here's some questions about funny little facts you might have read regarding the road network. All the answers are on this website… somewhere!
- Which village's name is sometimes used by highway engineers to refer to the four level stack interchange?
- Name a font or style of lettering that was developed for use on UK road signs but never used.
- Something was stolen from under Transport Minister Tom Fraser's nose. What?
- In which town can you find a flyover that destroyed Old Town and another that locals nicknamed the "Berlin Wall"?
- Which road was home to the UK's first speed camera?
- Name a road that is subject to a "ghost toll".
- Where's the underground car park that helped to build the M4?
- What connects Whiteley, Meon, Titchfield and Fareham?
- Which motorway was used for a Thunderbirds stunt?
- Which Expressway narrows to a single carriageway to cross the sea?
Round 4: Off the Map
Here are ten extracts from out-of-copyright maps, taken from the brilliant historic mapping at SABRE Maps. (If you haven't yet experienced the joy of SABRE Maps, now is a great time to immerse yourself in it… but not until after you finish the quiz, of course.) These places all look a bit different today, of course. Where are they?
Round 5: Missing Links
To finish off, here are ten clues to things that don't exist - or, perhaps, don't exist any more. You can find them all somewhere on the website. Can you work out what long-lost thing is being hinted at? (Points will be deducted from anyone laughing at the questionable standard of poetry.)
- Twenty miles of metalwork
The road is split in two
A badger's name, a queuing quirk
To help the trucks get through
- I could help you over the street
An animal black and white
But no-one knew when to use their feet
When they faced my pulsing light
- An idea to help where the tunnels are tight
And the traffic is more stop than go
But the cost was too high and the birds would take flight
So the minister's answer was no
- I'd stop you when you went to cross
On each trip back and forth
My absence was a welcome loss
For journeys south and north
- I was just the thing
But my fame took some knocks
Am I really a ring
If they call me a box?
- Everywhere in every part of town
A yellow sign, blue and red marking
Now almost all are taken down, but
Yellow stripes still stop you from parking
- Join me crossing a northern town
Hills and valleys far from the sea
From my lower deck it's a long way down
But my upstairs was never to be
- Take a walk on East Street
You won't get very far
My ends no longer meet
Since I gained my nasty scar
- Deep underground below water and land
A terrible place for signals and jam
The way out to the north's long since banned
From the road we address with curtseys as ma'am
- High up in the air
Named for forces of war
I used to run both ways
Now I'm down on the floor
That's your lot - 50 questions to sink your teeth into (and pass the time) until the answers are posted in a week.
In the meantime, you're welcome to post comments and thoughts here, and let everyone else know how you're getting on against the questions - but please, no spoilers!
Round 1: Hey, I’m doing well!
Round 2: Still fine!
Round 3: Uhh...
Round 4: Oh dear.
Round 5: I know 1 of them...?
OOOOO i know R2Q1 because i worked at a place that was built right on one of those roundabouts. So that 1/50 so far :)
Great quiz. I'm gonna box this by the end of the lockdown :)
I have got answers to 33 of them, but probably only really confident about 25 of them. Fantastic Quiz.