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European E-roads

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wikipedia entry

The European E-roads is an international network of signed routes. Similar to the Interstate Highway system, the E-road system is also layed out in a grid network, and also covers portions of Asia, such as Central Asia, all the former USSR republics.

Most countries sign E-roads besides their own numbering network, though some countries, most notably in Scandinavia and Belgium sign E-roads only, and only have an administrative nationwide numbering. In Belgium, when a freeway doesn't have an E-number, the national number is signed.

E-routes are not signed in the United Kingdom at all. It's also a question to which extend E-routes are signed in countries like Russia and Kazakhstan.

Most importantly, not all E-routes are freeways! Especially in Eastern Europe, where freeways are not that common as in western Europe, E-routes follow national roads. E-routes can also follow ferry routes, since Europe doesn't have a very good shape for a grid-numbering.

The numbering system;
North-south routes have two digit numbers ending at 5, going upwards from west to east.
East-west routes have two digit numbers ending at 0, going upwards from north to south.
Less important main routes have odd numbers for north-south routes, and even numbers for east-west routes.
Secondary routes have three digits, and are often located within a country, without crossing borders.
There are also secondary routes in central asia that are numbered from 001 to 099.

The actual usage of E-numbers may vary from country to country. They are well established in Belgium, where they are often better known than the Belgian A-numbering of freeways. They are also well established in countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Other countries only sign it as a secondary numbering, and less prominent, and are also often obsolete on signs. I doubt if they are actually much used in countries like France, Spain or Germany.

This is an E-road number:

E-roads in mighty Germany.

E-roads in Poland.

Are changes to the E road system, such as new routes or deleted routes, posted online anywhere? 

I think the E-routes are more akin to the US route system than the Interstate system, though the E-routes have a preference of using motorways whenever possible. For example, in Spain, as the motorways get built, the E-routes get moved over to the new motorway segments (E70 along A8, E15 along A[P]7).

As far as Russian and the 'Stans, you're right that it's unclear who signs what -- not even Google's sure. If memory serves, I read that E30 runs at least all the way to Omsk, but Google doesn't even try to show it past Ukraine, when it could at least to Moskva.
Bing does a better job with E40, both with the map quality and with signing E40 at least partway through the northernmost 'Stan.

E40 runs to Ridder, Kazakhstan. Although I highly doubt if they are signed in Central Asia. Recently a new batch of E00x numbers were introduced in Central Asia as well.

I know for sure E60 is signed in Georgia:

(this is S1, the only "freeway" in Georgia)

My understanding (is it right?) is that UNECE decided on the general routes by the cities they connect and selected the numbers they receive: (2008, latest I can find)
Probably it was done with much input from the involved countries.

Then each country's highway ministry decides on the details of the routings to accomplish connecting the cities. When a new freeway is built along an E Road corridor, that highway ministry would usually move the E route to the new freeway, and the UNECE route definition is general enough not to need a change.

But when a new E route is added to or removed from the system, that should be UNECE's call?

The specific question that makes me ask is that I noticed that E641 (southwestward from Salzburg) has vanished on some 2010 versions of maps that showed it in 2009.  I wanted to find out if it was a curiously widespread mapping error or if the route was scrapped from the official E road network. I haven't yet found the answer on the UNECE web site.


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