The new A85 autoroute runs for 140 miles through the heart of the Loire Valley vineyards and joins the Centre vineyards and the A71 autoroute at Vierzon west to Angers where it connects with the A11 (on to Nantes) via Touraine (and Tours and the A10 autoroute), Cheverny, Bourgeuil, Saumur and Anjou. Eventually it is planned that the A85 will extend south and east from Vierzon and Bourges to Nevers and Chalon-sur-Saone!
Various sections of the route are finished but the whole stretch will not be completed until Summer 2008.
From the East at Vierzon, the motorway is complete to St Aignan. It is then a bit patchy westwards to Tours – using sections of the new autoroute or the old N79 road. The stretch from west of Langeais west to Angers is complete.
When complete this offers drivers from central, southwest and western France an improved choices of routes, and in conjunction with the new A28 allows you to avoid Paris completely in reaching the Channel ports – whether it be Caen, Le Havre, Dieppe, Boulogne, Calais or Dunkerque.
For more info see www.cofiroute.fr
I am still trying to find out the name of the new Autoroute – e.g. the A6 south to Provence is the “Autoroute du Soleil”, the A77 is the” Autoroute des Arbres” (trees).