You just fitted your new car with legal number plates and want to drive around London. But do you know the history of London roads? London’s road network began around 50 AD when the city was just a small Roman port known as Londinium. The city now boasts of more than 9100 miles of road. Below are six interesting facts about London roads.
Drive on the Right
The city of London has three roads where you drive on the right. They are Hammersmith Bus Station, Savoy Court, and Eccleston Bridge, an entrance to Victoria Station that functions as a car park and drop-off point. This contradicts the rest of London where you drive on the left.
There is not a single Road in London
Technically, the notion that there are no roads in London City is not correct. However, it is true that there isn’t a single road in this city. The term ‘road’ did not exist until the 16th century. Since the city existed long before the 16th century, none of its many thoroughfares were roads. This remained the case until 1994 when the city’s boundaries were redrawn, nicking half of Goswell Road.
The Shortest Road in London
Leigh Hunt Street is just 11 metres long, making it the shortest thoroughfare in London. It is named after Leigh Hunt, a great writer. Enfield’s Leigh Hunt Drive is also named after him.
London’s Longest Road
The A1 is 410 miles long and links London to Edinburgh. The fact that this road linked the city to the rest Britain was once marked by the Banksy piece located on the Holloway Road that has since been removed.
They Had Wooden Paving
Most of the original paving on London’s streets was wooden. Even in the 1950s, wood could still be spotted on some of the city’s sidewalks. Asphalt has since replaced wood, but the original wooden paving can still be seen on some parts of Farringdon Street.
The Royal Mail Saved London City’s Roads
The Romans constructed great roads in London. However, these roads were widely neglected after they left. The Royal Mail played a big role in having these roads fixed. It would send teams of inspectors to each road to check whether they were good enough. Roads in poor condition would not receive any mail deliveries until they were improved.
As, a motorist, now you know something about London roads. As you drive around London, ensure your car is fitted with well-designed, legal number plates.