The two London roads which totally mess up the UK’s road numbering system and cause terrible confusion

London has plenty of roads with the same name, mostly thanks to administrative changes which meant that roads which were formerly in different counties are now both in London – the numerous ‘London Road’s’ across the capital being a prime example.

However, there are two A roads just six miles apart both in East London, with the same number. The roads don’t appear to have anything to do with each other and the number is not multiplexed (also known as road concurrency), where a road number loses its numbering whilst sharing part of a route with a more important road, such as the A1081 when it joins the M25.

To add the confusion, both roads meet the A104 meaning that those using just the roads’ official numbers alone instead of the road names and unfamiliar with the area are in for a rather confusing drive.

READ MORE:The tiny, pathetic motorway designed to ease congestion on the M25 that disappeared overnight

Snaresbrook Crown Court is the jewel in the crown of the eastern A1199

Both of the roads are numbered A1199.

The western A1199 is St Paul’s Road in Canonbury, running between Highbury Grove and Balls Pond Road. It’s a half a mile drive taking just two minutes. It’s effectively a gapfiller to plug the road into the A road network.

The eastern A1199 is the much longer road between the Green Man Roundabout and Woodford Green either side of South Woodford. It’s also the A1199 you’ll get when you search for the road on Google Maps. As the main road through Snaresbrook, it hosts the Crown Court, which overlooks Eagle Pond, a popular spot for walkers at the southernmost tip of the Epping Forest green space.

It’s not entirely clear why the two roads carry the same number, although the latter was originally part of the A11 before being renumbered after the faster running M11 and A12 were constructed. Even more bizarrely, the southernmost 100 metres of the eastern A1199 is signposted as the A113 despite being named Hollybush Hill and appearing as the A1199 on maps.

On top of that the eastern A1199 is referred to by Redbridge Council on its website as the A1109.

It’s confusing, it’s weird but at least it’s not as emotionally confusing as the tourists who turn up at the wrong Abbey Road!

What do you make of the two A1199s? Tell us in the comments below!

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