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Belgium

Area code 32 Common abbreviation B Last updated 30-11-2013
Road class Syntax explanation Administrative subordination Sub classes Zones System Remarks
European road E[0-9]<2-3> Europe (see Europe) A numbers of E roads appear only on small signs
Motorway (autoroute /autosnelweg) A[0-9]<1-3>{a} national 1/2-d (main) Spider-web clockwise Exit numbers: sequential
3-d defined by first digit (same for A and B)
Connection between motorway and other road (Bretelle) B[1-9][0-9][1-9] national On kilometer posts
Ring road R[0-9]<1-2>{[a-z]} national Sequential R0 around Bruxelles
National road N[0-9]<1-3>{[a-z]} national 1-d (main radial) Defined by first digit Spider-web clockwise
2-d (other main)
3-d (secondary)
Provincial road P[0-9]<1-3> province
Tourist road T[0-9]<3> national Defined by first digit
General description:
Motorways: Numbers A1-A10 evolve in clockwise order from Brussels (the A1 is to the north). Other 2-d numbers beginning with 1 are generally in the west and the ones beginning with 2 are in the east. There is only one other 2-d number: the A54 linking Charleroi to the A7.
Some A numbers are also assigned to ordinary dual carriageways: the A11 has many level crossings (it is also numbered N49) and the A12 has some sections with level crossings. The number A28 is also rumoured to be used for a section of the N81 with level crossings but this is not confirmed.
Ring roads: The R0 is the ring road around Brussels. The lowest R numbers are motorways or motorway-like roads. Higher numbers are often dual carriageways. The higher the number, the less important the road.
Zones for 2- and 3-digit N roads and for 3-digit A and B numbers and also for 2-digit R numbers roughly correspond to provinces as follows:
1 Antwerpen (Antwerp)
2 Brabant/Bruxelles
3 West-Vlaanderen (West Flanders)
4 Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders)
5 Hainaut
6 Liège
7 Limburg
8 Luxembourg
9 Namur
National roads: The N1 runs from Brussels to Antwerp and further to the Dutch border. The N2 goes to Maastricht and the N1-N9 form a spider-web. The zones above do not apply to 2-digit N numbers ending in 0: these are the main lateral roads. The N10 connects the N1 and N2, the N20 the N2 and N3 etc. but this does not continue all the way to the N90.
Provincial roads are rarely signposted (only in Wallonia). T roads are local connections, some of which are not even accessible to motorised traffic.
Road signs
Road type Background Text Road numbers
Class Shape Background Text
Main roads Blue White A,R Rectangle White Black
N Rectangle Blue White
Local roads White Black None
Bilingual sign with French name removed with black paint
P numbers rarely appear on signs
History: The system was changed around 1985, simultaneously with the introduction of the new European road numbering system. The previous sytem was similar, with numbers 1 to 5 the same as now. The old system already existed in the 1930s.
Sources and links: Various maps and atlases, personal experience

    Official sites:
  1. Ministère des Communications et de l'Infrastructure
  2. Routes Wallonie
  3. Wegen en Verkeer in Vlaanderen
    Other links:
  4. wegen-routes.be
  5. NGI topomapviewer
  6. autosnelwegen.net contains route lists, also for the Netherlands and Luxembourg
  7. Belgian Roads by Rien van de Wall
  8. 1- and 2-digit numbers before 1986 by Rien van de Wall
  9. The A24 story by Rien van de Wall
  10. A605
    Other pages within this site:
  11. A, B and R route list
  12. Europe
  13. Road sign colours
    Pictures:
  14. Historical road pictures Belgium
    Marcel Monterie
    Comments