State Route Numbering System
  The former route numbering in rural Victoria
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State Route 112 / State Route 111 Advance Direction sign on Glenelg Highway in Dunkeld.

Picture courtesy VicRoads.

  Prior to the Statewide Route Numbering Scheme (MABC routes), Victoria regional routes had a system much like the Melbourne Metropolitan area. These were called State Routes (SR), to distinguish them from two-digit routes in the metropolitan region of Melbourne.

The State Route Numbering System was launched on 13th December 1985 with the unveiling of the first state route sign located at the intersection of South Gippsland Highway and Greens Road [1], making State Route 180 the first signposted route. The new route numbering system, essentially an extension of the metropolitan system, had been planned by the Road Construction Authority in consultation with other state departments and local governments.

The routes to be designated were main throughways having major significant intra-state and regional links. The numbering of routes occurred with lower numbers in Western Victoria gradually increasing in a clockwise direction to the east of the state. North - South routes were generally odd numbers, while East - West routes were even numbers. In addition, routes of major tourist importance were added to the system, such as SR100 Great Ocean Road and SR189 to Wilsons Promontory. The first highways, signed by the end of 1986, were the Bellarine Highway (SR91), section 2 of the Goulburn Valley Highway (SR168), Bass Highway (SR181), Henty Highway (SR107), sections 3 & 5 of the Midland Highway (SR149) near Benalla, Melba Highway (SR153), Maroondah Highway (SR34 / 153), South Gippsland Highway (SR180), and the Sunraysia Highway (SR121) [1][2].

Initially, these routes were signed with topknots (route shield and arrow affixed to the top of the sign) utilising original signs, where 2000 had been made for the first routes [1]. In some cases, these signs were more than twenty years old, and were worn out and/or outdated. As a result, new signs were developed using road names and shield in one sign. The use of trailblazers at minor intersections and along the route was common practice, as 4000 were installed alone in the first years of the system. [1]

Between 1987 and 1994, 6 new routes were added - 104, 154, 175, 176, 182 and 188. The final total stood at 36 three-digit routes.

There was also one alternative route, ALT SR153, which looped from SR153 into the town of Mansfield.

Routes 91 - 98 were reserved for use in the greater Geelong region. But only one route emerged - State Route 91 on the Bellarine Hwy. It could be speculated if that the more routes were introduced, it would consist of roads in urban Geelong, possibly the routes that are currently holding a C route number.

The system lasted for 11 or so years, before the Statewide Route Numbering Scheme was first introduced in the north east of Victoria in 1996. By 2000, all State Routes outside Melbourne were converted into M, A, B or C routes (the majority converted into B routes), with most of the state being converted in 1998.
  Routes of System:  
  Geelong Routes

Bellarine Highway
Geelong - Queenscliff

  Three-Digit Routes

Great Ocean Road & Princes Highway
Portland - Geelong

Hopkins Highway
Mortlake - Warrnambool

Hamilton Highway
- Hamilton

Henty Highway
Lascelles - Portland

Stawell - Dunkeld

Glenelg Highway
Ballarat - SA Border - (Mount Gambier East, SA)

Sunraysia Highway
Ouyen - Ballarat
Pyrenees Highway
Ararat - Elphinstone
Riverside (Horsham) - Ararat
Wimmera Highway
St Arnuad - SA Border - (Naracoorte, SA)
Borung Highway
Dimboola - Charlton
Loddon Valley Highway & McIvor Highway
Kerang - Heathcote
Hattah - Robinvale Road
Hattah - Robinvale
Midland Highway
Geelong - Benalla
Wodonga - Beechworth Road
Wodonga - Tarrawingee
Ovens Highway & Alpine Road
Wangaratta - Omeo
High Country
Wangaratta South - Running Creek

Mount Buller Road
Mansfield - Mount Buller

Goulburn Valley Highway
Seymour - Eildon
Lake Mountain
Nabethong - Lake Mountain
Taggerty - Thornton Road
Taggerty - Thornton
Warburton Highway
Lilydale - Warburton
Yarra Valley & South Gippsland
Castella - Korumburra

Mount Donna Buang
Warburton - Mount Donna Buang

South Gippsland Highway
Dandenong - Sale
Bass Highway
Anderson - Leongatha
Strzelecki Highway
Morwell - Leongatha
Phillip Island Road
Anderson - Cowes
Hyland Highway
Morwell - Yarram
Wilsons Promontory
Meeniyan - Tidal River
Monash Way
Morwell - Churchill
Kiewa Valley Highway & Bogong High Plains Road
Bandiana - Glen Valley
Omeo Highway
Tallangatta - Bairnsdale
Bonang Road
Orbost - NSW Border
  Alternative Routes

Mansfield Loop
Maindample - Barjarg

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  [1] Road Construction Authority; Roads Vic; Jan/Feb 1986; p.11
[2] Road Construction Authority; Annual Report 1986; June 1986; p.42
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