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the nicknames of French motorways

 

French motorways network from 2006

 

 
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As well as the standard Axyz numbering of French motorways - the A standing for auto route, French motorways often have a semi-official, or not so official, name/nickname.

Here is a list of these names that abelard.org has discovered so far:

A1 Autoroute du Nord
A4 Autoroute de l’Est
A5 L’Orientale
possibly because this motorway runs on a route parallel to that of the Orient Express train.
A6 Autoroute du Soleil
A7 Autoroute du Soleil : of the Sun
A8 La Provençale
A9 La Languedocienne - La Catalane
A10 L’Aquitaine
A11 L’Océane
A13 Autoroute de Normandie
A14 “la nouvelle autoroute de l’ouest”:
the new motorway of the West
A16 L’Européenne
A20 L’Occitane
A21 La Rocade Minière
A25 Autoroute des Ornières:
ornieres means ‘ruts’. The road surface is not good and the A25 has a 110 kmh maximum speed limit as a result.
A26 Autoroute des Anglais:
of the English, from the many UK cars to be seen coming from the Calais ferry port.
A30 Autoroute de la Vallée de la Fensch
A31 Lorraine-Bourgogne
This motorway also has two joke nicknames: of the Carambolages- the pile-ups, and des caravane belges - Belgian caravans. You are warned.
A35 Voie Rapide du Piémont des Vosges (VRPV):
Piémont des Vosges rapid road.
The A35 is also known as the Autoroute des Cigognes - the storks. This area is known for its many stork colonies
A36 La Comtoise:
going through the Comté-Franc region of north-east France
A39 Autoroute Verte: green motorway
A40 Autoroute Blanche / Autoroute des Titans:
White motorway; this motorway runs to the titanic, white alps
A41 L’Alpine
A43 Autoroute de la Maurienne
A51 Autoroute du Val de Durance / des Alpes
A55 Autoroute du littoral: the coast motorway
A61 Autoroute des Deux Mers:
of the two seas - the Atlantic and the Mediterranean
A62 Autoroute des Deux Mers
A63 Autoroute de la Côte Basque:
of the Basque coast
A64 La Pyrénéenne
A65 Autoroute de Gascogne
A66 L’Ariègeoise
A68 La Tarnaise
A71 L’Arverne: the region north of the Auvergne region
A75 La Méridienne
A77 Autoroute de l'Arbre: of the tree
A79 La Cévenole
A81 L’Armoricaine
A82 La Bretonne
A86 Périphérique d'Île de France:
Ile de France ring road (circling Paris)
A89 -La Transeuropéenne, Autoroute des Présidents:
Transeuropean, or the Presidents’ motorway;Also known s the empty autoroute because it passes no other major cities between Bordeaux and Clermont-Ferrand
A104 La Francilienne
A400 Autoroute du Chablais
A837 Autoroute des Oiseaux: of the birds

A16,
A28,
A13,
A84,
RN137,
A83,
A84
A10,
A63

Autoroute des Estuaires, of the estuaries, once finished, will be a series of motorways linking Dunkerque with Bayonne [and also Belgium with Spain], without passing through Paris. The estuaries are those of the Somme, the Seine, the Loire and the Gironde. The RN137 will be upgraded to an extension of the A84.

end notes

  1. rocade
    A ring road, generally around a major town.

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on first arriving in France - driving motorway aires, introduction
travelling by rail to and within France Les Pyrénées, A64 Poey de Lascar, A64
aires on the A75 autoroute from clermont-ferrand to béziers Pic du Midi, A64 Dunes, A62
aires on the A89 autoroute from bordeaux to clermont-ferrand and beyond Hastingues, A64 Mas d’Agenais, A62
aires on the busy A7 autoroute from lyons to marseille Pech Loubat, A61 Garonne, A62
aires on the motorway to Spain - the A9 autoroute Port-Lauragais, A61 Catalan village, A9
three aires on the canal du midi, A61 Ayguesvives, A61 Tavel, A9
aires on the autoroute of two seas - the A62 Renneville, A61 Les Bréguières, A8
aires on the other autoroute of two seas - A64 and A61 Carcassonne, A61 Lozay, A10


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