"bypass" and "ring road"

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Mehrgan

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Hi all,

Would anyone please tell me if they're the same? Thanks.
 

jamiep

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To me, a by-pass is a road that avoids going through a city/town on the way to somewhere else.

A ring road is a road that circles a city.
 

Ouisch

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In AmE, terminology such as this varies depending upon location. (A Harvard professor did a year-long study/survey on phrases and dialects in American English and how they vary by region. The results were very interesting!) Some people refer to a ring road as a "beltway" or a "loop". To my Michigan mind, a "ring road" is a road that circles around a city or a congested area of a freeway. The ring road has more local exits than the Interstate (freeway) and helps to lessen the congestion on the Interstate.
 

Mehrgan

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Thanks a lot. Has "ring road" got a different meaning in BrE? Thanks again.
 

Rover_KE

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No - it's the same.

Rover
 

BobK

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Thanks a lot. Has "ring road" got a different meaning in BrE? Thanks again.
No ;-) - our meaning is just the same as the one Ouisch gave, though more like the 'beltway/loop' meaning. The other sort - which relieves congested traffic - can be called 'a relief road'; that is, a ring-road has to form a ring around a town or village.

To give local (to me) examples:

  • Oxford has a ring-road. As wheeled traffic - apart from bicycles - is severely restricted in the town itself, it can be quicker to avoid driving through the town; instead, you can drive out to the ring-road, drive round, and drive in on the other side.
  • The A33 joins Basingstoke to Reading. Until about 20 years ago it passed through many little villages on the way, one of which was Swallowfield. Eventually, they built 'the Swallowfield Bypass - which does indeed bypass Swallowfield, but also bypasses several other villages.
  • One of those villages is called Three Mile Cross. As its name suggests, it grew from a small cluster of buildings at a cross-roads three miles outside the centre of Reading. Once the Bypass was built, traffic raced from Basingstoke to just outside Reading at 50-60 mph and then crawled the last three miles at average speeds of 10-20 mph. A big new road was built 5-10 years ago, called 'the A33 Relief Road'.

In the nature of things, given that traffic improvements (through road-building) tend to be phased, a number of individual bits of bypass may in time be joined to make a ring-road.

b
 
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Mehrgan

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Thanks to all dear posters.
 
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