|Road network length||13,100 km|
|Length of highway network||123km|
|License plate code||YES|
Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean, part of the continent of North America. The country has just under 3 million inhabitants and is the size of a third of the Netherlands. See Jamaica population density. The capital is Kingston.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Jamaica is a medium-sized island 150 kilometers south of Cuba, 200 kilometers west of Haiti, 620 kilometers east of Honduras and 780 kilometers north of Colombia. The capital Kingston is located in the southeast of the country on the coast. Other larger towns include Portmore and Montego Bay. The island measures 235 kilometers from east to west and a maximum of 80 kilometers from north to south. Jamaica is mainly hilly, with a higher mountain area in the east. The Blue Mountain Peak is the highest point on the island at 2,256 meters.
Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, followed by rapid economic growth in the 1960s, stagnating in the 1970s and contracting sharply in the 1980s. Since the 1990s, the country has experienced economic growth again. Jamaica has a diverse economy, with agriculture, mining, services and tourism. Approximately 1.3 million visitors visit Jamaica each year. Income is approximately $8,800 per resident.
Jamaica has a better developed road network than most other Caribbean islands, with approximately 13,000 kilometers of paved road. The roads are often in reasonably good condition, and well developed, following the British model. People also drive on the left in Jamaica. The majority of the road network consists of single carriageways through the jungles, with some scenic coastal routes, especially along the north coast of Jamaica. The road network is most developed in the flatter south, with fewer roads in the interior.
Jamaica has recently started building a number of highways, with the so-called “Highway 2000” project. The first highway opened in 2003 and is a toll road from Kingston to Sandy Bay. This one currently ends with May Pen. An extension to Williamsfield is planned. This highway forms the east-west route across the central part of South Jamaica. Another highway is Kingston to Ocho Rios on the north coast, which was built in several phases and was completed in 2016. The maximum speed is 110 km/h on motorways.
Plans for a motorway from Morant Bay to Kingston were scrapped in 2016. There are plans for a toll road to bypass Montego Bay.
The road network in the capital Kingston is not particularly developed, there are few multi-lane roads or grade-separated intersections. There is a short 2×3 highway between Kingston and Portmore, which is operated as a toll road. Due to the mountainous nature of the outskirts of Kingston, there is no bypass around the city. Through traffic must go through Kingston.
Jamaica has two motorways;
- Kingston – Montego Bay Motorway
- Kingston – Ocho Rios Motorway
The road numbering in Jamaica is based on the British model, with A and B roads. The A-roads are the major through roads, and are numbered from A1 to A4. The A1 runs from Kingston to Negril, passing inland and along the north coast. The A2 also runs between these two cities, but runs through southern Jamaica. The A3 branches off the A1 and runs east along the north coast and curves back to Kingston. The A4 winds its way around the east side of Jamaica.
The B-roads are secondary roads that connect the A-roads with villages and because of the small number of A-roads often also have a through function. The highest number is the B13, leaving only 17 numbered roads in all of Jamaica.
The prefix for the motorways is unclear, but may be a “T”, short for toll road.
The signage is based on the British model, with blue signposts on highways and green signposts on A-roads.