The differences between motorways and dual carriageways

The main differences between motorways and dual carriageways

Despite having some similarities, there are a number of differences between the two types of road.

Some of the differences between dual carriageways and motorways are:

   Motorways MUST NOT be used by :

riders of motorcycles under 50 cc, cyclists, horse riders.

certain slow-moving vehicles and those carrying oversized loads (except by special permission).

agricultural vehicles.

powered wheelchairs/powered mobility scooters 

Motorways have a hard shoulder while dual carriageways do not

Motorways have the “M” designation before or after the road number, such as M40 or A40(M). The addition of the ‘(M)’ means the former dual carriageway (the A40) has been upgraded to motorway status

Junctions on motorways are always numbered.

The dual carriageway signs are always green, while they are blue on Motorway.

on a dual carriageway, we use the right-hand lane for overtaking and turning right, On a motorway, it is used for overtaking only.

Exiting a motorway almost always involves a slip road

 Roundabouts and traffic lights are very common on dual carriageways but extremely rare on motorways.

These are key differences, but there are also some similarities that you need to be mentioned.

motorway united kingdom

Similarities between motorways and dual carriageway

A common misunderstanding is that motorways can’t have two lanes and that dual carriageways can’t have three. This is not true.

Though typically you might expect motorways to have three lanes and dual carriageways to only have two, some motorways only have two lanes and a hard shoulder while some dual carriageways have three.

As well as the number of lanes they can have, motorways and dual carriageways have a number of similarities, including:

Both are separated by barriers in the central reservation

Both have a top speed limit of 70 mph

Both are usually accessed by a slip road

Posted on Apr 18, 2020 by Sam

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The differences between motorways and dual carriageways