Freeway Route Numbering System
  The former route numbering for Melbourne's Freeways
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F81 AD on Mickleham Rd for Tullamarine Freeway.
February 2005

  Prior to the 1988, Melbourne Freeways were allocated special route numbers known as Freeway Routes. These routes, marked by green shields with the prefix 'F' before the number, was the first type of route numbering in Victoria which was based on road classification alone.

During the 1970's, Melbourne was in a grip of major freeway construction - the West Gate, Tullamarine and Mulgrave Freeways were all giving the green light with works occurring simultaneously. Freeway Routes, as the name suggests, was a route numbering scheme designed to inform drivers that the particular roadway with this type of route number was a freeway. Freeway Routes were limited only to freeways, providing a clear separation to other route numbering systems in metropolitan Melbourne.

In essence, Freeway Routes are an extension of the Metropolitan Route Numbering System. Metropolitan Routes 80 to 90 inclusive were specifically reserved as Freeway Route numbers.

The following list is a chronological order of when each route was introduced:
F81: First introduced route via the Tullamarine Freeway when it first opened in 1970/71, duplexing with Metropolitan Route 40 for a significant portion.
F80: Introduced onto the South Eastern Freeway around 1973, replacing Metropolitan Route 80 which was introduced in 1965.
F81: The Mulgrave Freeway and South Gippsland Freeway were given F81 - the same number as the Tullamarine Freeway. The most logical reason behind this move was that both Mulgrave and Tullamarine Freeways were part of huge proposed freeway, the F9, which incorporated both freeways and the 'missing section' that ran close to today's West Gate Freeway and Citylink Western Link alignment.
F87: By 1975, the Mornington Peninsula Freeway between Nepean Hwy and Jetty Rd was designated F87.
F90: By 1975, the expanding Calder Freeway from the Tullamarine Freeway was the F90 (duplexing with National Route 79). F90 was later extended to Keilor as more sections opened.
F83: In 1977, the Eastern Freeway was was given F83 at the opening of the first stage. This was extended along the second stage to Doncaster Rd in 1982.
F82: The opening of the West Gate Bridge in 1978 saw the West Gate Freeway acquiring the F82 shield. At the same time, National Route 1 (NR1) had been moved onto the freeway, creating a F82/NR1 duplex.
Freeway Routes were finally decommissioned in 1989 during the shakeup of the Metropolitan Route Numbering System. National Route 1 completely replaced Mulgrave Freeway's F81 and the South Eastern Freeway's F80 in 1988 when both freeway were joined; while F82 was removed from the duplex with National Route 1 along the West Gate Freeway. In 1989, Metropolitan Route 11 was extended down the Mornington Peninsula replacing Mornington Peninsula Freeway's F87. F90 was removed from the duplex with National Route 79 on the Calder Freeway. The only number to be reused was 83, where it was changed from F83 to Metropolitan Route 83.
  Routes of System:  

South Eastern Freeway
Melbourne - Kooyong

Tullamarine Freeway
Melbourne Airport - Flemington

Mulgrave Freeway & South Gippsland Freeway
Chadstone - Lyndhurst

West Gate Freeway
Brooklyn - South Melbourne

Eastern Freeway
Clifton Hill - Doncaster

Mornington Peninsula Freeway
Dromana - Rosebud

Calder Freeway
Keilor - Niddrie
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