Highway vs Motorway
One can observe the difference between highway and motorway in some aspects such as the condition of traffic. Highway and motorway are names used for different types of roads that are provided for faster and more efficient transport of automobiles across important cities in countries. Motorway is a term used more in Britain than elsewhere in the world. There, motorways are all numbered M1, M2, M3, and so on, connecting major destinations. Ireland has its own numbering system different from England. There are many similarities in highways and motorways, but there are also some differences, which will be highlighted in this article.
What is a Highway?
A highway is a generic term that is used to denote any metallic road that has 2 to 4 lanes all through, sometimes even more, and is used to provide high speed traffic across major destinations. Inter-city feature is a distinguishing feature of a highway. Thus, a network of roads that have a number of lanes and connect different towns and cities with intersecting roads via stop lights is a system of highways in any country. While, there were very few highways around the world before WW I, the rapid increase in number of automobiles and a demand for better, more efficient system of roads to transport between cities forced governments to come up with highways. However, though highways are supposed to be faster than normal roads, they too contain somewhat more traffic than motorways. This is because highways have traffic signals as well as intersections.
What is a Motorway?
Motorway is almost always a part of a network of highways in a country, and connects two or more important cities. It allows you to reach your destination at a high speed. A motorway has usually two lanes per side of the road and has tollgates as motorways charge toll. Also, the traffic in a motorway is uninterrupted without traffic signals. This is possible because no pedestrians are allowed to travel in a motorway and it does not have intersections. As we all know, if there are traffic signals, then the traffic cannot move fast as expected as the vehicles have to stop every time the traffic signal changes to red. If there are pedestrians, there will be pedestrian crossings that will demand the vehicles to stop when the pedestrians want to cross the road.
Different countries use different numbering systems for motorways. England uses M series to number their motorways. In Australia, motorway numbering differs from state to state. By now, most states are changing to the number system with the prefix M. When it comes to Germany, federal motorway has the prefix A. In Netherlands, you can get the motorway number with the original national highway number, but with the prefix A.
What is the difference between Highway and Motorway?
• Definition of Highway and Motorway:
• A highway is a general term that refers to a system of paved roads linking important cities to provide for high speed transportation of automobiles without any restriction.
• Motorway is a less popular term used mostly in Britain, where there is a system of highways connecting all cities of the country.
Traffic is another point of differentiation between a highway and a motorway.
• Highway, compared to a motorway, has more traffic as there are traffic signals and intersections.
• Motorway is a controlled access highway, which provides for high speed traffic without traffic signals, and access is provided through ramps and slip roads.
• Number of lanes:
• A highway may have 2 to 4 lanes all through.
• A motorway usually has 2 lanes per side.
Both highway and motorway have tollgates as they both charge toll from the travelers who use the road.
• Highway can have controlled-access or no control. If a highway has controlled access then only vehicles with certain qualities can travel on that road. Cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians are not allowed to travel on these highways.
• Motorways are controlled-access highways. So, cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians are not allowed to travel on these motorways. Sometimes, in Britain, for the benefit of the users, they let roads that were converted to motorways to operate without the limited access requirement. This is for the benefit of the people who have been using that road even before it was turned into a motorway.
- The Pan-American Highway in the Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina via Wikicommons (Public Domian)
- A1 motorway, Netherlands by Apdency (CC BY-SA 3.0)