Did you know that the longest road in the UK is the A1?
The A1 road stretches 410 miles and connects London, England with Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1921, the Ministry of Transportation designated the A1 road based on Great Britain’s road numbering scheme. This numbering scheme aimed to identify and classify all the roads. As the name suggests, a single letter represents the category, and the set of 1 to 4 digit numbers to identify the road. The number scheme became a means of map navigation and further classified them into two schemes: motorway and non-motorway roads. The A1 road is considered a motorway road.
In the 1970s, a proposal was submitted to widen the A1 road along Archway Road in London. However, these plans remained futile due to oppositions that led to multiple public inquiries. A public protest followed that completely disrupted the widening project. Another proposal was put into place in 1989. This time, the British government proposed to upgrade the whole A1 road to a motorway status. Again, this scheme saw its end in 1995 amidst road protests.
Recent Road Developments
The A1 road experienced developments starting 2006. It is important that the roads are improved for the motorists’ safety. Companies such as Roadcare continuously work on improving roads, particularly on road markings and their removal.
Most of the developments focused on adding lanes, creating roads for non-motorway traffic, upgrades to motorways, and connecting junctions.
Fun Facts about the A1 Road
- The A1 road is the longest numbered road in the UK.
- Towns that you will pass by are Peterborough, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Darlington, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Berwick-upon-Tweed.
- The A1 road was used as an early route during the Roman period.
- The A1 is frequently mentioned in songs. For example, it was mentioned in the song “Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die!” by Jethro Tull. It was also included in the lyrics of “Up on the A1” by Scotch Corner, “Scotch Corner” by the Welsh band called “Man” and “Separated by Motorways” by The Long Blondes.
- In the novel “On the Holloway Road” Andrew Blackman spoke of an A1 road trip.
- The part of the A1 road that stretches from St Paul’s to M25 is the most overlooked; however, Youtube travelers are focusing their attention to it.
- The A1 shows the most accurate mathematical calculations, specifically the distances to the M1, Finchley, Brent Cross and Watford. A few years ago, it became a well-known landmark and a social media meme when someone added mathematical signs to it.
- The A1 road gave birth to three roads namely the A5092, A5093, and the A5088 which stemmed from the opening of the new Barnett Bypass in 1928. This was because of the policy to assign new numbers for the new roads. However, the A1 stuck to the Great North Road.
- The A1 also gave birth to three places’ names, namely Holloway, North London; the Archway, and the Potters Bar. You can pass all these places via the A1 road.