There is nothing straightforward about the seemingly simple business of giving roads a number.
Road numbers have been with us for more than a century now. These pages explore the alphanumeric designations of the UK’s roads in detail, covering the detailed rules for allocating A- and B-roads and the multiple confusing systems used to number motorways.
Then, we step back in time to see how we ended up with road numbers in the first place, and how they were first applied over a hundred years ago. You can also read a very enjoyable account of the numbering scheme, written back when it was still something of a novelty.
- The photograph of the C14 signs appears courtesy of Mike Burns.