- Spur route
A spur route is a short
roadforming a branch from a longer, more important route (typically a major road, freeway, Interstate Highwayor motorway). A bypass or beltwayis never considered a true spur route as it typically reconnects with the major road. Both loops and spurs are forms of auxiliary routes.
In the province of Ontario, most spur routes are designated as A or B, such as Highway 17A, or 7B. A stands for "Alternate Route", and usually links a highway to a town's central core or main attraction, while B stands for "Business Route" or "Bypass", but are used when a main highway is routed around a town and away from its former alignment. The designation of "C" was used twice (Highway 3C, and 40C), and is assumed to mean "Connector". Both highways have long since been retired and are now
county roads. There was also one road with the D designation (Highway 8D, later the original Highway 102), and this may have stood for "Diversion", as it was along the first completed divided highwayin Canadaat the time ( Cootes Drivein Hamilton).
In the US, many
Interstate Highwayshave spur routes when they enter a large metropolitan area. Interstate spur routes are numbered with a three-digit number. The last two digits of the number are the number of the "parent" Interstate; e.g. a spur route of Interstate 90would be 490, a spur route of Interstate 5would be 805.
Spur Interstate routes have three digit numbers with an odd first digit, while a subsidiary route either passing through a city or bypassing it would receive an even first digit. For example, in the case of
Interstate 5's spur routes in Los Angeles, Interstate 405 goes through the entire city, whereas Interstate 105 ends at Los Angeles International Airport.
Spurs are also found branching from
US highways, state routes, etc., often as extended onramps and offramps of expressways.
There are many numbering violations in the spur route numbering system, thus the general rules above do not always apply.
In the UK, a spur route carries the same definition, but the rules for numbering it differ.
Short spurs from primary roads or motorways typically are not given a unique number, and three arms of the junction will apparently have the same number. For example, the A14 has a same-number spur to the
A1(M) motorwayat Huntingdonin Cambridgeshire, the M23 motorwayhas one to Gatwick Airportin West Sussexand the M25has one to Heathrow Airport. To distinguish the spur on road signs, the road it leads to is usually given - for example "Gatwick Airport (A23)".
Typically, slightly longer spurs, or those with intermediate junctions of their own, are given unique numbers to distinguish them from their parent road. There is a loose numbering system for these spurs on the motorway network, not dissimilar to the US system – the road takes a three-digit number derived from that of the parent road. Examples include the
M602 motorway(spur of the M60 and M62 motorways), M621 motorway(spur of the M62 and M1 motorways), and M271 motorway(spur of the M27 motorway). There are anomalous spur numbers though, for instance the M898 motorway(spur of the M8 motorway; number given to match with a unique A-number road) and the unique case of the M181 motorway, a spur of a spur.
A-road spurs do not follow a noticeable numbering system; they would be impossible to assign due to the quantity of A-road numbers in use.
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