European route E18
|Length:||1,890 km (1,170 mi)|
|West end:||Craigavon, Northern Ireland, (United Kingdom)|
|A75 Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland, (United Kingdom),
E6 Oslo (Norway)
E16 Sandvika (Norway)
|East end:||Saint Petersburg (Russia)|
|Countries:||Northern Ireland, U.K., Scotland, U.K., Norway, Sweden, and Finland, Russia|
European route E18 runs from Craigavon in Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom to Saint Petersburg in Russia, passing through Scotland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is about 1,890 km (1,174 mi) in length.
The route starts in Northern Ireland and runs from Craigavon (M1) – Belfast (M2, A8) – Larne, then to Scotland: Stranraer, Wigtownshire (A75) – Gretna England (M6) – Carlisle (A69) to Newcastle. Like all European routes, it is not signposted as such in the United Kingdom.
Norway and Sweden
In Norway and Sweden the E18 runs Kristiansand – Arendal – Porsgrunn – Larvik – Sandefjord – Tønsberg – Horten – Drammen – Oslo – Ås – Askim – Karlstad (in Sweden) – Örebro – Västerås – Stockholm/Kapellskär.
The connection over the Baltic Sea from Sweden to Turku/Naantali Finland is by cruiseferries operated by Silja Line and Viking Line. It is also possible to take a direct route to Helsinki. In theory it is also possible to cross the sea via Åland and the Åboland islands by island hopping over bridges, by cable ferries and ferries along the Archipelago Ring Road, but this route is not signposted as being part of the E18.
In Finland the E18 goes from Åland through southern Finland by way of Turku/Naantali – Salo – Vihti – Espoo – Porvoo – Loviisa – Kotka – Hamina – Vaalimaa till the border with Russia. Often at the border with Russia can be some queues because the border control is poorly equipped for the increasing volume of traffic using it. The situation has since 2009 improved thanks to increased capacity, so that there are usually no long queues any more.
In Russia, E18 goes along the Russian route M10 from Finnish border to Saint Petersburg. The stretch of M10 between Saint Petersburg and the Finnish border will be redesignated to A181 by 2018. The route runs through northwestern Leningrad Oblast and mostly through sparsely populated areas. Since 2003, after opening of Vyborg bypass E18 does not go through Vyborg, though previously it did. Near Saint Petersburg the route runs through suburbs, such as Sestroretsk and Olgino. E18 terminates at the western border of Saint Petersburg.
There are plans to expand the road from one to three lanes in each direction because of the increasing volume of traffic. In 2012 the highway will be connected with the Western Rapid Diameter near Beloostrov by expanded existing junction of M10 with the Zelenogorsk highway. It is likely to be a new terminus of E18.
- Queue situation at the Finnish/Russian border
- Federal Highway Agency of Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation (in Russian)
- http://www.baltinfo.ru/2011/08/18/Trassu-Skandinaviya-rekonstruiruyut-i-rasshiryat-do-shesti-polos-223520 (in Russian)
- (in Russian)
Media related to E 18 at Wikimedia Commons