Friday, December 20, 2019

100 Years of Motorways

London's Victoria & Albert Museum has released an interactive map which plots the development of Europe's motorway network over the last 100 years. In 1924 Italy opened the world's first motorway. As you progress through the Evolution of European Motorways 1920-2020 you can observe how Europe's vast high-speed road network developed from that first stretch of the Autostrada dei Laghi in northern Italy.

In the first few decades of motorway construction Germany led the way in developing a national network of high speed roads. It was only in the 1960's that most other European countries started to build their own motorway networks. For example the UK's first motorway, the Preston By-Pass, wasn't constructed until 1958. As you progress through the V&A's motorway map you can click on the 'read more' buttons to learn about some of the more significant sections of motorway built in Europe over the last century.

The V&A's map ends by plotting out the route of the planned Russia Meridian highway. This very long new highway will eventually form part of a proposed massive inter-continental Russia-China highway. Once the Russia-China highway is completed you will be able to drive over 8,000 km on motorways from Portugal to the east coast of China.

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