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Netherlands


Area code 31 Common abbreviation NL Last updated 24-6-2018
Road class Syntax explanation Administrative subordination Sub classes Zones System Remarks
European road E[0-9]<2-3> Europe See Europe See Road signs
Motorway (autosnelweg) A[0-9]<1-3> national See national highway
The A and N numbers form an integrated system Exit numbers: sequential
Other national highway (non-motorway) N[0-9]<1-3>{A} national 1-/2-d
198-399 198-250 North Holland, South Holland, Utrecht Clustering
251-300 Zeeland, North Brabant, Limburg
301-350 Gelderland, Overijssel, Flevoland
351-399 Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe
401-999 (N only) Zones roughly correspond to provinces
400-430 Utrecht Clustering Numbers appear on km posts
430-500 Zuid-Holland Numbers appear on km posts and route confirmatory signs
500-550 Noord-Holland
550-600 Limburg Numbers appear on km posts
600-650 Noord-Brabant Numbers are not visible
650-700 Zeeland Numbers appear on km posts
700-730 Flevoland Numbers are not visible
730-780 Overijssel Numbers appear on km posts
780-850 Gelderland Numbers appear on km posts
850-900 Drenthe Numbers are not visible
900-950 Friesland Numbers appear on route confirmatory signs
950-999 Groningen
City road (Stadsweg) s[12][01][0-9] municipality

Spider-web In Amsterdam and Almere
S[12][01][0-9]

Spider-web In Den Haag and Rotterdam
Recreational road r1[01][0-9] municipality

Sequential Only in some areas
There is a separate administrative system. These numbers never appears on signs. They are used in official publications.
Rijksweg (national road) (R[0-9]<1-3>) national 1-/2-d
[78][0-9]<2> 7/8 roughly correspond to A/N number zones 2/3 respectively Often the 'R' number can be obtained by adding 500 to the route number
9[0-9]<2>
derived from an 'R' number by adding 900
Secondary provincial highway (S[0-9]<1-3>{a}) provinial

Some clustering
Tertiary provincial highway (T[0-9]<1-3>{[a-c]}) provinial
General description: Numbers 1-8 form a 'broken' spider-web with centre Amsterdam, with 1 starting in the east and 2 going to the southeast. 3 was a planned road to the south but the only part that was actually built is the Randweg Dordrecht which is only a link between the A15 and the A16 near Rotterdam. The A4 goes to the southwest, and might continue further south in the future (there are two more isolated stretches). The A5/N5 used to go to Haarlem but it was downgraded to the A200/N200. A new A5 will be built from Amsterdam to the A4 near Schiphol (north of the A4: in November 2003 the first section between the A4 and the A9 is scheduled to open). Then the 'break' occurs: The A6 is not to the northwest as one might expect, but to the northeast, the A7/N7 goes to the north, then to the east via the Afsluitdijk to Groningen and further to the German border. The A8 is to the northwest. The A9 starts as a partial ring around Amsterdam, and then continues to Den Helder in the northwest. The A10 is the full ring around Amsterdam.
Many roads consist of several sections of motorway, with an 'A' number, and several sections of ordinary road, with an 'N' number. For example, route 7 has three A sections and two N sections. Route 2 used to have four A sections and three N, but two gaps were upgraded to motorways and now only one N part is left in Maastricht.
When a road x only has a motorway section which is part of another road, it is not numbered as Ax but just indicated between brackets. For example, the N317 is routed via the A18 near Doetinchem over a 3 km stretch, and is indicated as (N317). This kind of situation did not exist until 1993.
Higher (2-d) numbers are loosely clustered (for example, numbers beginning with 7 are in the southeast).
r numbers in Ommen are r101 - r104. In Schouwen-Duiveland, r101 - r112 exist only in what was formerly the municipality of Westerschouwen. In the Spaarnwoude recreational area, numbers r101 - r105 increase to the southeast from the Wijkertunnel, the r106 begins in Haarlem. Thus it seems clear that numbering is per municipality, and the numbers in Schouwen-Duiveland were introduced before the municipalities were combined (1-1-1997).
s numbers in Amsterdam form a spider-web starting with the s101 to the northwest (linking to the former N203). Numbers increase in positive direction (counterclockwise) to the s118 to Oostzaan. The s100 is an inner ring and numbers over 200 are lateral roads. These seem to be obsolete. They do not appear on new signs anymore. In Almere, s numbers increase from s101 to s106 along the A6 which runs through the city.
New S numbers in Den Haag and Rotterdam have an uppercase S. In Den Haag, they form a spider-web starting with the s101 to the northeast (leading tp the N44). Numbers increase in positive direction (counterclockwise) to the s108 to Voorburg. The s100 is the city ring and the S200 is the outer ring (together with A4, N14 and N211). In Rottrdam, only a few numbers are signposted in 2010 and it is not clear yet how the system will look.
All A and N roads have kilometerage which is posted every 100 meters. Kilometer values are not unique and discontinuous. They can increase to a certain point and then decrease again. Many discontinuities are introduced on purpose, so that km values on future new road sections can be uniquely assigned.
For a list of all numbered roads, see Route list and www.autosnelwegen.net.
Road signs: blue. E numbers appear on signs at major intersections and on confirmatory signs along motorways, and on separate direction signs along other roads. A roads are (almost) always indicated on signs, and so are N roads with 1- and 2-digit numbers. 3-digit N numbers are usually signposted, but numbers introduced in 1993 only appear on new signs.
N numbers over 400 normally do not appear on signs, except for the N470 which is completely signposted. In recent years, however, more and more numbers over 400 tend to appear on signs, e.g. the N522 and the N854. The numbers do appear on km posts and small separate signs in some provinces (see above).
r and s numbers are almost always signposted.
Indirect references are between brackets but on new signs also without brackets (not in a shield). Direct references are always in a shield. Local destinations appear in separate white fields on signs on approaches to junctions, and on white signs at junctions.
Example of an r number:
 
 
Exceptional yellow signs on the A2:
 
Road/destination type Background Text Road numbers
Class Shape Background Text
All roads Blue White A Rectangle Red White
N Rectangle Yellow Black
Local destinations White Black r Rectangle Red White italics
s White Black
The end of a road number is indicated as in the picture below (sometimes with lines from top right to bottom left instead): 
The end of a road number is also indicated like this at border crossings.
In the 1970's, the idea came up to use green signs for motorways (as is common in many countries in Europe). However, this idea was abandoned soon afterwards and only a few green signs ever appeared. They may all have been replaced by blue signs by now.
History: The first numbering system was established in 1927, but this did not appear on signs. The first motorways were designated as such in 1936 (the first one was opened in 1935). In 1957, E numbers were introduced and signposted together with a system of N roads complementing the E roads, see Wikipedia. The only numbers were N89-N99. Therefore, only very few roads were numbered (not even all motorways) until the current A and N numbers were introduced in 1975. Officially this was called 'Routenummering in de bewegwijzering' (route numbers on signposts), we will call these route numbers. Initially these were assigned only to very important roads (many old N roads did not even get a new number) but from 1981 onwards, 3-digit numbers were signposted. The administrative road numbering system still existed separately. Adding to the confusion was the fact that the numbers from the Rijkswegenplan (National road plan) of 1968 were often used as well as the valid numbers (for example, Rijksweg 4 had number 19 according to the plan of 1968). 'Rijkswegen' usually had the same (numerical part of the) number as the route number, but there was no connection whatsoever between provincial highway numbers and their route numbers.
In 1993, the N numbers over 400 were introduced, and the provincial highway numbers were probably made obsolete. The N364 was the first 3-digit number to become completely obsolete around 2000. In 2002 the A205 was downgraded to N205. One sign with the number A205 was still present in September 2003. For more information see History of road traffic in the Netherlands.
In 2010, S numbers were introduced in Den Haag and Rotterdam.
Around 2012, the N260A was the first N number with a suffix. 
Information on specific roads: 'Rijkswegenplan' means 'National roads plan'
Road In Rijkswegenplan (with Rijksweg numbers)
Route section 1932 1938 1968 1984 Current (2001)
3 Amsterdam- Rotterdam/Dordrecht Amsterdam- Amstelveen (A9/R6) 3 planned motorway (cat. I) 3 planned motorway Motorway open 1977 no longer planned
Amstelveen (A9/R6)- Bodegraven planned motorway after 1977
Bodegraven-Nieuwerkerk planned via 12 to Rotterdam Motorway via 12 open 3 planned motorway after 1977 planned motorway Bergschenhoek (16)-Nieuwerkerk instead no longer planned
Nieuwerkerk-Ouderkerk - - 3 planned motorway after 1977 3 planned motorway
Ouderkerk-Papendrecht - - - 3 planned motorway but not part of Rijkswegenplan
Papendrecht-Dordrecht - - - 3 existing dual carriageway with motorway characteristics (N3)
4/19 Amsterdam-Belgium Amsterdam-Burgerveen 4 motorway planned (cat. I) 4 motorway open 4 existing motorway
Burgerveen-Den Haag - 4a motorway planned
Den Haag-Delft - - 4/19 planned after 1977 4 begin construction 1987-1990 4 opened motorway 1998
Delft-Kethelpein - - 19 planned 1973-77 4 planned after 1990 4 under construction
Beneluxtunnel (Kethelplein-A15) - - 19 existing motorway number changed to 4
A15-Klaaswaal - - 19 planned after 1977 4 planned no longer planned, A4 to be indicated via Vaanplein (15-29)
Klaaswaal-Dinteloord - - 19 existing motorway number changed to 4
Dinteloord-Bergen op Zoom - - 19 planned after 1977 4 planned after 1990 new single carriageway planned replacing former 4, bypassing Steenbergen in the west
Bergen op Zoom-Hoogerheide 58 existing single carriageway cat. III 58 existing single carriageway 17 existing motorway, 19 planned parallel after 1977 4/58 existing motorway, parallel road no longer planned
Hoogerheide-Belgian border 57 existing single carriageway cat. III (now N289) - 19 planned motorway 1973-77 4 planned motorway 4 motorway opened early 1990's
16 Beverwijk-Rotterdam Beverwijk-IJmuiden via Velsertunnel 9 single carriageway (cat. II) 9 existing single carriageway 9 motorway through Velsertunnel opened 1957 9 22 (9 via Wijkertunnel)
Beverwijk-Haarlem via Wijkertunnel - - 16 planned motorway via Halfweg after 1977 22 planned near existing A9 9 existing motorway (22 via Velsertunnel)
Haarlem-Rotterdam - - 16 planned motorway via Nieuw-Vennep and Zoetermeer 16 planned motorway only between Terbregseplein (A20) and A13 south of Delft no longer planned
55 's-Hertogenbosch-Oss 55 existing single carriageway (cat. III) 55 existing single carriageway 55 dual carriageway 59 dual carriageway, N50/A50 59 upgrade to motorway planned, will be A59 after completion of A50
50 Joure-Zwolle Joure-Emmeloord - - 50 motorway to be opened 1973-77 50 existing motorway number changed to 6
Emmeloord-Kampen - - 50 planned after 1977 50 planned 50 under construction (north of Ens 2nd crriageway under construction)
Kampen-Zwolle - - 50 planned after 1977 50 one carriageway open 1986-90 50 one carriageway open
75 Arnhem-Maastricht Arnhem-Oss - - 75 motorway to be opened 1973-1977 50 open 50 open
Oss-Helmond 66 planned single carriageway (cat. III) - 75 planned after 1977 50 planned, construction to be started after 1990 50 under construction
Helmond-Weert - - no longer planned
Weert-Maasbracht - 75 planned single carriageway 75 existing motorway number changed to 2
Maasbracht-Maastricht 75 existing single carriageway cat. II (part now N295) 75 planned motorway 75 existing motorway
Sources and links: various maps and atlases, personal experience

    Official sites:
  1. Rijkswaterstaat
  2. Road construction projects
  3. wegstatus.nl road signs
  4. Van A naar Beter

  5. Other links:
  6. autosnelwegen.net contains route lists, also for Belgium and Luxembourg
  7. autosnelwegen.nl
  8. Harry's wegnummers
  9. Historical maps
  10. Road numbering from 1957
  11. Opentopo
  12. map5 (based on Opentopo)
  13. Administrative numbering in North Brabant
  14. Roads in North Holland
  15. Hectometer points
  16. Stichting IMN km points switch on Hectometerpalen

  17. Specific roads:
  18. A15
  19. A37
  20. A73 and A74
  21. A74
  22. N14
  23. N33
  24. N69
  25. N201
  26. N269
  27. N295
  28. N391
  29. N853
  30. Hubertustunnel Den Haag

  31. Other pages within this site:
  32. History of road traffic in the Netherlands
  33. Destinations indicated at motorway interchanges 1986-1989
  34. Europe
  35. Route lists
  36. Road sign colours
    Road pictures:
  37. Historical pictures
Marcel Monterie
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