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Types of roads

Types of roads

"M" roads

M1 West Gate Freeway
West Gate Freeway, Altona North
M80 Western Ring Road
Western Ring Road, Laverton North

These roads are duplicated (dual carriageway) roadways with at least two lanes in each direction. The majority of these roadways are built to freeway standard, however some sections in rural areas are of highway standard with other roads intersecting them instead of interchanges.

In rural areas, they provide high standard links between Melbourne, other capital cities and major regional centres. Within Melbourne, they are urban freeways or tollways.

"M" roads in Victoria:

  • M1 - Monash Freeway / CityLink
  • M1 - Princes Freeway / Highway
  • M1 - West Gate Freeway
  • M2 - Tullamarine Freeway / CityLink
  • M3 - Eastern Freeway
  • M3 - EastLink
  • M3 - Frankston Freeway
  • M8 - Western Freeway / Highway
  • M11 - Mornington Peninsula Freeway / Peninsula Link
  • M31 - Hume Freeway
  • M39 - Goulburn Valley Freeway
  • M79 - Calder Freeway
  • M80 - Western Ring Road / Metropolitan Ring Road
  • M420 - Bass Highway
  • M420 - South Gippsland Freeway / Highway
  • M780 - Western Port Highway

The CityLink sections of the M1 and M2, plus the EastLink section of the M3 are toll roads.

Exit numbers

Many "M" roads in Melbourne have freeway exit numbers installed along them. This allows drivers unfamiliar with the area to easily identify exits rather than rely just on a road or suburb name. It also gives drivers a sense of how far to their required exit so they can plan lane changes well in advance.

Exit numbers increase sequentially as the distance from Melbourne's CBD increases. Exits are denoted by a number, except for those within about 15 kilometres of the city centre which have the number prefixed by the bearing of the exit in relation to the city, such as "E" for east or "W" for west.

West Gate Freeway exit numbers Monash Freeway exit numbers

Lane restrictions

Eastern Freeway truck lane ban
Eastern Freeway, Kew

Trucks exceeding 4.5 tonnes of gross vehicle mass are banned from the furthermost right lane on a number of Victoria's freeways which carry 3 or more lanes of traffic. Buses and emergency vehicles are exempt from this ban.

Signage installed above lanes and along the median strip identify areas where this restriction applies.

"A" roads

A8 Western Highway
Western Highway near Stawell
A1 Princes Highway
Princes Highway near Lake Tyers

In rural areas, these roads usually consist of a single carriageway with the majority of them having sealed shoulders and overtaking lanes in some sections. In metropolitan areas, these roads tend to be dual carriageway.

They have a similar function to "M" standard roads, but generally carry less traffic. In rural areas, they provide high standard links between Melbourne, other capital cities and between regional centres. In metropolitan areas they are major transport corridors.

"A" roads in regional Victoria:

  • A1 - Princes Highway
  • A8 - Western Highway
  • A10 - Princes Highway (Geelong)
  • A20 - Sturt Highway
  • A39 - Goulburn Valley Highway
  • A79 - Calder Highway
  • A200 - Henty Highway
  • A300 - Midland Highway
  • A420 - Bass Highway
  • A440 - South Gippsland Highway
  • A780 - Western Port Highway
  • A790 - Calder Alternative Highway (Bendigo)

"A" roads in Melbourne:

  • A50 - St Kilda Road / Brighton Road / Nepean Highway
  • A51 - Plenty Road
  • A60 - Mount Alexander Road / Flemington Road / Curzon Street / King Street / Kings Way / Queen Road / Dandenong Road / Princes Highway
  • A81 - Leakes Road
  • A91 - Robinsons Road / Palmers Road
  • A93 - Forsyth Road

"B" roads

B400 Murray Valley Highway
Murray Valley Highway near Corryong
B100 Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road, Skenes Creek
B240 Wimmera Highway
Wimmera Highway near Natimuk

These roads are generally single carriageway roadways. They are sealed and are of a good standard.

They function as primary links between regions not served by "A" roads. In metropolitan areas of Melbourne they are secondary arterial roads. They also include the highly significant tourist routes of the Great Ocean Road, Murray Valley Highway and the Great Alpine Road.

"B" roads in regional Victoria:

  • B12 - Mallee Highway
  • B23 - Monaro Highway
  • B75 - Northern Highway
  • B100 - Great Ocean Road
  • B100 - Surf Coast Highway
  • B110 - Bellarine Highway
  • B110 - Nepean Highway
  • B110 - Point Nepean Road (Mornington Peninsula)
  • B120 - Hopkins Highway
  • B130 - Baanip Boulevard (Geelong)
  • B140 - Hamilton Highway
  • B160 - Glenelg Highway
  • B180 - Maroona - Glenthompson Road
  • B180 - Pyrenees Highway
  • B200 - Henty Highway
  • B210 - Stawell - Warracknabeal Road
  • B220 - Sunraysia Highway
  • B240 - Wimmera Highway
  • B260 - Loddon Valley Highway
  • B280 - McIvor Highway
  • B300 - Maroondah Highway
  • B300 - Melba Highway
  • B300 - Midland Highway
  • B320 - Maroondah Highway
  • B340 - Goulburn Valley Highway
  • B360 - Maroondah Highway
  • B380 - Warburton Highway
  • B400 - Murray Valley Highway
  • B420 - Phillip Island Road
  • B460 - Bass Highway
  • B460 - Strzelecki Highway
  • B500 - Great Alpine Road

"B" roads in Melbourne:

  • B77 - Sayers Road / Old Geelong Road / Fitzgerald Road
  • B91 - Palmers Road / Dunnings Road
  • B94 - Dohertys Road
  • B668 - Pound Road / Greaves Road / O'Shea Road
  • B675 - Belgrave - Hallam Road
  • B716 - O'Herns Road
  • B870 - Tarneit Road

"C" roads

C546 Murray River Road
Murray River Road near Granya
C241 Ararat Road
Ararat - St Arnaud Road, Navarre

These roads are generally single carriageway roadways. Almost all of them are sealed and their standard is determined by usage and terrain.

They function as important links between population centres and also provide access links to the primary road network.

Some "C" roads are former highway routes with freeway bypasses having relieved them of much of their original through traffic. A few of these former highway routes are high quality dual carriageway roads, such as the Princes Highway (C101) through Pakenham.

There are hundreds of "C" roads throughout Victoria.

Melbourne metropolitan routes

Metropolitan route 40 Springvale Road
Springvale Road, Chelsea Heights

These roads are located within Melbourne's metropolitan area and generally define major transport routes to the city and through the suburbs.

These routes may vary in standard from single carriageway roads to multi-lane arterials and highways.

Tourist drives

Tourist Drive 2 - Yarra Scenic Drive
Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra

These are typically shorter routes that cover a number of roads and form a leisure tourist drive. These routes either pass through areas of noteworthy scenery, follow natural features or encompass tourist attractions.

As these routes are designed for tourists, they are not the quickest or most direct way to get between destinations.

Tourist drive roads in Victoria:

  • 2 - Yarra Scenic Drive - Spencer Street, Melbourne to Yarra Street, Warrandyte
  • 11 - Bay West Drive - Hudsons Road, Spotswood to Duncans Road, Werribee

Tourist drive roads in regional Victoria:

There are many other tourist drives in regional Victoria, some without route numbers. Look out for brown road signs.