by Hugh Morris, The Telegraph, April 11, 2018
The Romans had the right idea. Why take the long and winding road when one straight as an arrow will have you there in half the time?
When it comes to road trips, the beeliners might not offer the same exhilaration as an ever-changing mountain pass, but they do offer an opportunity to relax and put your feet up (metaphorically, not literally. We don't condone dangerous driving).
While the Romans all-but invented the straight road, few of the world’s longest are in and around their old territory. Here we round up the stretches of tarmac that barely require a touch of the steering wheel.
The longest straight road in Britain
That would be the A15 between Scampton and the M180, lasting for about 18 miles with barely a wobble through the Lincolnshire countryside. Exotic.
The longest straight road in Europe
The Corso Francia pierces Turin like a lance, jutting out to the west of the Italian city, but is only 7.3 miles. The road was built at the nod of Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy in 1711, beginning at the Piazza Statuto, ending at the Martyrs of Liberty Square in Rivoli.
The longest straight road in the world
Highway 10 has the dubious honour of boasting the longest straight section of road in the world and, judging by Google Earth, the most boring. The 162-mile stretch from Haradh to the border is straighter than Bud Abbott. Given the featureless desert either side, you might have trouble keeping your eyes open, but at least you'll struggle to crash into anything.
The most famous straight road in the world
“Australia’s longest straight road” proclaims the sign at the beginning of of the Eyre Highway on the nation’s south coast. Motorists completing the whole length will endure 90 miles without a single deviation.
The flattest straight road
Interstate 80 crosses the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, which, as the name suggests, are as flat as the road is straight. The road itself bisects the United States, from New York to California, but its journey through Utah is what excites drivers who hate steering. It’s not all boredom though - the road passes the 87-foot sculpture, Metaphor: The Tree of Utah.
The straightest road in North America
North Dakota claims its Highway 46 is the longest straight road in the US and Canada. Slight bends aside, the motorway boasts a 31-mile dead straight stretch from Gackle to Beaver Greek. However, the aforementioned Bonneville Salt Flat road is meant to be longer, at 35 miles.
The straightest road that visits the most states
Behold the US Route 54, reaching from El Paso, Texas, to Griggsville, Illinois. Along the way, it enjoys a Bible-straight section that features two state lines, gracing Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The oldest straight road in the world
It’s not straight by modern standards, but the Appian Way was the original straight road. Connecting Rome to Brindisi, the Appian Way was named after Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman censor who began and completed the first section in 312BC. In 71 BC, 6,000 of Spartacus’s slave army were crucified along the Via Appia from Rome to Capua.
If you like straight roads, maybe you'll enjoy this comprehensive list of the world's most remote roads.