A7 motorway (Netherlands)

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A7 motorway shield}}

A7 motorway
Rijksweg 7
Location of the A7 motorway
Highway system

The A7 motorway is a motorway in the Netherlands connecting Zaandam, via the Afsluitdijk, Sneek and Groningen to the German border near Bad Nieuweschans. The entire road is part of the European route E22, with exception of the first kilometre, between the terminus in Zaandam and the interchange Zaandam. With a length of 236 km it is the longest motorway in the Netherlands.

Motorway interruptions[edit]

The motorway A7 is interrupted twice:

  • Around Sneek, the road is 'demoted' to a highway for several kilometres, and included some at-grade intersections, the at-grade intersections were replaced with grade separated intersections in 2008–2010, however, it isn't a motorway.
  • Also around the city of Groningen it is demoted over a distance of several kilometres, mainly for the at-grade intersection with motorway A28, and for the road's small alignment through the city in general.

Both of the abovementioned sections are denoted as 'N7', to distinguish those parts from the motorway, for which the 'A' designation is used in the Netherlands. The A7 together with the N7 is called the Rijksweg 7.

Westbound N7 near Groningen.
Interruption of the A7 in Groningen.

Speed limit experiment[edit]

From March 2011, on a section of the A7 motorway, motorists were allowed to drive at 130 km/h, opposed to the then national speed limit of 120 km/h. This was a government test to investigate if driving at these higher speeds have an effect on the environment and safety. The test resulted positively, and the national speed limit was raised to 130 km/h in October 2012.


The A7 runs across a historic part of Dutch engineering, the Afsluitdijk. This dam was originally created to protect the country's long interior coastline from floods by creating a large freshwater lake. The road over the Afsluitdijk was previously a 2-lane N road, but is now a proper motorway; the upgrade to motorway was achieved by utilising the dike's unused railway reservation for the second carriageway. Its midpoint is near the village of Breezanddijk. The former State Secretary for Infrastructure and the Environment, Joop Atsma, issued a statement detailing the factors influencing the decision to build a new naviduct on the Afsluitdijk section of the A7 at Kornwerderzand. A naviduct and new locks was costed at €200–450 million, depending on the size of locks and size of highway. A naviduct would give waiting time annualised benefits €13 million to road traffic, based on the existing bridge opening 7,000 times a year. Cost–benefit analysis of all potential solutions were considered, and a naviduct could be built to replace the locks when they reach the end of their useful life in 2050.[1]

Exit list[edit]

Province Municipality km. # Name Roads Notes
North Holland Zaanstad 4 AS-rondo-icon.svg Zaandam Terminus at roundabout in Zaandam.
5 AB-Kreuz-blau.svg Interchange Zaandam A8
7 AB-AS.svg 2 Zaandijk For Zaanse Schans
Wormerland 11 AB-AS.svg 3 Wijdewormer
Purmerend 14 AB-AS.svg 4 Purmerend-South N235
15 AB-AS.svg 5 Purmerend
17 AB-AS.svg 6 Purmerend-North N244
Koggenland 29 AB-AS.svg 7 Avenhorn/Hoorn-West N243, N247
Hoorn 32 AB-AS.svg 8 Hoorn
34 AB-AS.svg 9 Hoorn-North N302
Medemblik 36 AB-AS.svg 10 Wognum N241
39 AB-AS.svg 10a Abbekerk
43 AB-AS.svg 11 Medemblik N239
Wieringermeer 50 AB-AS.svg 12 Middenmeer N242
55 AB-AS.svg 13 Wieringerwerf N240, N248
Wieringen 64 AB-AS.svg 14 Den Oever N99
AB-Brücke.svg Afsluitdijk (midpoint at Breezanddijk)
Friesland Súdwest Fryslân 97 AB-AS.svg Kornwerderzand
101 AB-Kreuz-blau.svg Interchange Zurich A31
101 AB-AS.svg 15 Zurich
105 AB-AS.svg 16 Witmarsum
110 AB-AS.svg 17 Bolsward-North N359
112 AB-AS.svg 18 Bolsward-East
115 AB-AS.svg 19 Nijland
Gap in motorway A7; the road continues as highway N7 as follows:
118 AB-AS.svg 20 Sneek-West
119 AB-AS.svg 21 Sneek-South N354
119 AB-AS.svg 21a Sneek-Woudvaart Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only
120 AB-AS.svg 22 Sneek-East
The road continues as motorway A7 as follows:
Skarsterlân 133 AB-AS.svg 23 Joure-West
136 AB-Kreuz-blau.svg Interchange Joure A6
140 AB-AS.svg 25 Oudehaske
Heerenveen 142 AB-AS.svg 26 Heerenveen-West Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only
144 AB-Kreuz-blau.svg Interchange Heerenveen A32
147 AB-AS.svg 26a Tjalleberd
Opsterland 152 AB-AS.svg 27 Gorredijk
158 AB-AS.svg 28 Beetsterzwaag
Smallingerland 161 AB-AS.svg 29 Drachten-Centrum Centrum means (town) centre
165 AB-AS.svg 30 Oosterwolde N381
165 AB-AS.svg 30a Drachten N31
Opsterland 170 AB-AS.svg 31 Frieschepalen N358
Groningen Marum 176 AB-AS.svg 32 Marum
180 AB-AS.svg 33 Boerakker N388
Leek 184 AB-AS.svg 34 Leek N372
Groningen 191 AB-AS.svg 34a Westpoort (Groningen)
193 AB-AS.svg 35 Hoogkerk N372
Gap in motorway A7; the road continues as highway N7 as follows:
196 AB-AS.svg 36 Ring Groningen-West N370
196 AB-AS.svg 36a Martini hospital Westbound exit only (Martini hospital accessible from other directions via AB-AS.svg 36)
197 AB-Kreuzung-blau.svg Intersection Julianaplein A28
198 AB-AS.svg 37 Helpman
198 AB-AS.svg 37a Oosterpoort Eastbound exit and westbound entrance only
199 AB-AS.svg 38 Europaplein
204 AB-Kreuz-blau.svg Interchange Euvelgunne N46
205 AB-AS.svg 39 Westerbroek
The road continues as motorway A7 as follows:
Hoogezand-Sappemeer 213 AB-AS.svg 40 Foxhol N386
215 AB-AS.svg 41 Hoogezand N387
218 AB-AS.svg 42 Sappemeer
Menterwolde 222 AB-AS.svg 43 Zuidbroek
224 AB-AS.svg 44 Noordbroek N33
Scheemda 230 AB-AS.svg 45 Scheemda N362
232 AB-AS.svg 46 Heiligerlee
Winschoten 240 AB-AS.svg 47 Winschoten N367
Bellingwedde 246 AB-AS.svg 48 Oudeschans
Reiderland 251 AB-AS.svg 49 Bad Nieuweschans
BAB-Grenze.svg Border with Germany; this road continues as the German A280.


  1. ^ Atsma, Joop (3 July 2012). "Toezegging naviduct Afsluitdijk" (PDF) (in Dutch). Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Rijksweg 7 at Wikimedia Commons