Route Nationale (France)
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Route Nationale France
Point zéro (kilometre zero) on the parvis of Notre-Dame de Paris

A route nationale, or simply nationale, is a class of trunk road in France. They are important roads of national significance which cross broad portions of the French territory, in contrast to departmental or communal roads which serve more limited local areas.

Their use is free, except when crossing certain structures subject to a toll. They are open to all vehicles, except on certain sections having motorway (autoroute) or express road (voie express) status, both of these categories being reserved for motorized vehicles only.

France at one time had some 30,500 km of routes nationales and publicly owned motorways, but this figure has decreased with the transfer of the responsibility for many routes to the départements so that by 2010 the total length of motorways and other national roads was around 21,100 km. By way of comparison, routes départementales in the same year covered a total distance of 378,000 km.[1]

The layout of the main trunk road network reflects France's centralizing tradition: the majority of them radiate from Paris. The most important trunk roads begin on the parvis of Notre Dame de Paris at a point known as point zéro (kilometre zero). In order to cover the country effectively, there are many other roads that do not serve Paris directly.

History

The system dates back to 16 December 1811, when Napoleon designated a number of routes impériales (imperial highways). First-class routes were numbered from 1 to 14; all began at Paris, radiating out in a clockwise manner. Route 1 ran from Paris north to Calais, and is still the general path of route nationale 1. Second-class routes, from 15 to 27, did the same, while third-class routes from 28 to 229 provided less major connections. During the Bourbon Restoration, in 1824, these routes were renamed routes royales (royal highways) and modified. Route 3, Paris to Hamburg via Soissons, Reims and Liège, was renumbered to 31 and 51, and the subsequent routes were shifted down by one. Routes 19 and 20 were completely outside the post-Napoleon France, and so 21 to 27 became 18 to 24. In 1830 the highways were renamed routes nationales.[2]

In the 21st century, the French Government has downgraded many of the former routes nationales, such as the N7 from Paris to the Côte d'Azur, transferring responsibility for them to the départements.[3]

List of routes nationales

Routes nationales 1 to 25

Number Runs through:
N1 Paris - Beauvais - Amiens - Abbeville - Boulogne-sur-Mer - Calais - Dunkirk - Belgium (N39)
N2 Paris - Soissons - Laon - Maubeuge - Belgium (N6)
N3 Paris - Meaux - Château-Thierry - Épernay - Châlons-en-Champagne - Verdun - Metz - Germany (B41)
N4 Paris - Vitry-le-François - Saint-Dizier - Toul - Blâmont - Sarrebourg - Strasbourg - Germany (B28)
N4A Vincennes (N34) - Joinville-le-Pont (N186)
N5 Dijon - Dole - Switzerland (Geneva) - Thonon-les-Bains - Saint-Gingolph - Switzerland (21)
N6 Paris - Melun - Fontainebleau - Sens - Auxerre - Chalon-sur-Saône - Mâcon - Lyon - Chambéry - Modane - Italy (SS25)
N7 Paris - Fontainebleau - Montargis - Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire - Nevers - Moulins - Roanne - Lyon - Vienne - Valence - Montélimar - Orange - Avignon - Aix-en-Provence - Fréjus - Saint-Raphaël - Cannes - Antibes - Nice - Menton - Italy (SS1)
N8 Aix-en-Provence - Marseille - Aubagne - Toulon
N9 Moulins - Clermont-Ferrand - Issoire - Saint-Chély-d'Apcher - Marvejols - Banassac - Millau - Clermont-l'Hérault - Béziers - Narbonne - Perpignan - Spain (N-II)
N10 Saint-Cyr-l'École - Rambouillet - Chartres - Tours - Châtellerault - Poitiers - Angoulême - Bordeaux - Biarritz - Spain (N-I)
N11 Poitiers (N10) - Niort - La Rochelle
N12 Saint-Cyr-l'École - Dreux - Alençon - Fougères - Liffré - Rennes - Saint-Brieuc - Brest
N13 Paris - Saint-Germain-en-Laye - Orgeval - Mantes-la-Jolie - Évreux - Lisieux - Caen - Cherbourg
N14 Paris - Enghien - Pontoise - Rouen
N15 Bonnières-sur-Seine (A13) - Rouen - Yvetot - Le Havre
N16 Pierrefitte (N1) - Creil - Clermont
N17 Le Bourget (N2) - Senlis - Arras - Lille - Hallum Belgium (N32)
N18 Étain - Longuyon - Longwy - Belgium (N830)
N19 Paris - Provins - Troyes - Chaumont - Langres - Vesoul - Belfort - Switzerland
N20 Paris - Étampes - Orléans - Vierzon - Châteauroux - Limoges - Brive - Cahors - Montauban - Toulouse - Foix - Bourg-Madame - Spain (N-152)
N21 Limoges - Périgueux - Bergerac - Agen - Auch - Tarbes - Argelès-Gazost
N22 N20 between Foix and Bourg-Madame - Andorra
N23 Chartres - Le Mans - Angers - Nantes
N24 Rennes - Lorient
N25 Amiens - Arras

Routes nationales 26 to 50

Routes nationales 51 to 75

Routes nationales 76 to 100

Routes nationales 101 to 125

Routes nationales 126 to 150

Routes nationales 151 to 175

Routes nationales 176 to 200

Routes nationales 201 and beyond

References

  1. ^ Citing figures from the Ministère de l'Écologie
  2. ^ "Note Sommaire sur la Gestion des Routes".
  3. ^ "Take the slow road: Route Nationale 7, the French connection". Washington Post. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 2017.

External links


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