European route E4

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E4 shield

E4
Route information
Length1,590 km (990 mi)
Major junctions
North endTornio, Finland
65°50′41″N 24°09′41″E / 65.8446°N 24.1614°E / 65.8446; 24.1614
South endHelsingborg, Sweden
56°02′19″N 12°41′43″E / 56.0387°N 12.6953°E / 56.0387; 12.6953
Location
Countries Finland
 Sweden
Highway system
International E-road network

European route E4 passes from north to south through Sweden from the border with Finland, with a total length of 1,590 kilometres (990 mi). The Finnish part lies entirely within Tornio in northern Finland, and is only 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) long.[1] The Swedish part traverses most of Sweden except the extreme north and the west coast region, and is commonly considered the highway backbone of Sweden, since it passes in the vicinity of many of its largest cities and through the capital Stockholm. In particular, it is the mainline road used by most vehicle traffic, both cars and lorries, between the north (Norrland) and south of Sweden or beyond.

From Haparanda on the Finnish border, it stretches south along the Gulf of Bothnia to Gävle, then on a more inland route southwards. It ends in Helsingborg in Sweden, at the port for the ferry to Helsingør in Denmark. The route intersects with European route E6 just outside Helsingborg, which continues to Trelleborg on the southern coast of Sweden.

History and naming[edit]

Under the new system of European routes it was planned to have been a part of E 55, but it remains in the pre-1992 designation (E4) within Sweden, because the expenses connected with re-signing this long road portion would be too large.[2] Besides the signs along the road, there are thousands of signs, especially in cities, showing how to reach the E4 road. The road is now fully authorised as E4 by the relevant authority, not as E55.[3]

Route[edit]

North of Gävle the road is of mixed standard. Depending on the fashion at the time of construction it is either a single standard carriageway road, usually 8–13 metres (26–43 ft) wide, or a 2+1 road, a 13–14 metres (43–46 ft) wide road with two lanes in one direction and one in the other with a steel wire barrier in between, or sometimes a motorway with two lanes in each direction. North of Sundsvall, the road passes through several of the larger cities as city streets.

South of Gävle, the road becomes an almost continuous motorway, with the only non-motorway part being a 32 km (20 mi) long section past Ljungby, currently a 2+1 limited-access road. Upgrade to motorway standard will start in 2018.[4] With the exception of the Ljungby bypass, the final stretch of the motorway to be opened was the road between Uppsala and Mehedeby, which was inaugurated on 17 October 2007.[5] South of Gävle, the speed limit is 110 km/h (68 mph) on 60% and 120 km/h (75 mph) on 30% of the road. North of Gävle there are varying speed limits, with 90 km/h (56 mph), 100 km/h (62 mph) and 110 km/h (68 mph) as the most common. The speed limits on the main roads in Sweden were changed on many stretches in October 2008, which saw the introduction of the 120 km/h limit.[6]

The E4 is the fastest road to go from Germany/Denmark to areas north of the Arctic Circle, including places in Norway such as Tromsø or the North Cape.

The route passes through or nearby the cities Tornio, Haparanda, Luleå, Piteå, Skellefteå, Umeå, Örnsköldsvik, Härnösand, Sundsvall, Hudiksvall, Söderhamn, Gävle, Uppsala, Stockholm, Södertälje, Nyköping, Norrköping, Linköping, Jönköping, Värnamo, Ljungby, and Helsingborg.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Driving directions via E4". Google. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  2. ^ Committee on Transport and Communications. "Vägväsende m.m. Trafikutskottets betänkande 1991/92:TU15" (in Swedish). Riksdag. Retrieved 14 January 2017. Sverige tog därför, tillsammans med Finland och Norge, fram ett förslag till ändring i 1975 års överenskommelse som innebär att Europavägarna E4 och E6 får behålla sina nuvarande vägnummer. Skälen för förslaget var, för Sveriges del, dels att begreppen E4 och E6 är väl etablerade inom landet, dels att en omnumrering av dessa vägar kraftigt skulle öka kostnaderna för omskyltning m.m.
  3. ^ "European Agreement on Main International Traffic Arteries (AGR)" (PDF). United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. 1 November 2016. pp. 10, 12. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  4. ^ Trafikverket. "E4, Ljungby–Toftanäs, motorväg". Trafikverket. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Nu invigs E4 Uppsala–Mehedeby".
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2008-12-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Transport - Transport - UNECE" (PDF). www.unece.org.