How to classify and name roads (United Kingdom)

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This page covers road names for the United Kingdom. For other countries see here.


This forms part of UK Editing Best Practice. Editors are encouraged to follow these guidelines.


The following abbreviations should be used where possible to conserve screen space.

Road Name Abbreviation TTS Expansion?
Avenue Ave Yes
Boulevard Blvd Yes
Broadway Bdwy Untested
Circus Cir Untested
Close Cl Yes
Court Ct Yes
Crescent Cr Yes
Drive Dr Yes
Garden Gdn Untested
Gardens Gdns Yes
Green Gn Untested
Grove Gr Untested
Junction (as in Motorway Jxx) J Yes
Lane Ln Yes
Mount Mt Untested
Place Pl Yes
Park Pk Untested
Ridge Rdg Untested
Road Rd Yes
Saint St. Yes
Square Sq Untested
Street St Yes
Terrace Ter Yes
Valley Val Untested


  1. Roads like "The Avenue", "The Green" etc should not normally be abbreviated.
  2. TTS = Text To Speech

Road types

The following convention should be followed where possible, although it is acknowledged that you may need to deviate from it in some circumstances.

Waze Road Type UK Road Types
Freeway Motorway & Motorway class A roads
Major Highway Trunk roads (other than motorways) as defined below.
Minor Highway Non-trunk A-class roads or dual-carriageway B-class
Primary Street Other B-class roads and roads carrying heavier traffic.
Streets Urban Streets, Low traffic rural roads

For Freeways leave the City Name as "None", so as to stop the City Names smearing. For Motorway class A roads, name as Axx(M). (No spaces).

Non-drivable - aren't really worth adding, as Waze is an app aimed at commuters who drive, but if you really feel the need to add these, be careful and make sure that they DO NOT connect to drivable roads as Waze has been known to route people along walking trails and the like!

Trunk Road (also known as Strategic Route Network) Maps


Railway lines should be drawn in as Railroad type roads, particularly if there are other streets nearby. They will soon appear in the client, and they potentially keep Wazers on trains from polluting the local speed data.

Tracks should be drawn as simply as possible - they do not need to be accurate out in the country where no one can see them, and it is not necessary to map individual tracks through a station.

Segment Properties:

  • City: No City
  • Name: No Name
  • Type: Railroad
  • Direction: Two way
  • Level: -5
  • Lock: 5

Railroad segments should not be connected to the road network at any point, but can connect to other railroad segments. All turns should be enabled (no red arrows please).

Dual Carriageways

The following convention should be followed where possible, although it is acknowledged that you may need to deviate from it in some circumstances.

When to Split

A road should be split into be 2 one-way roads if any of the following conditions are met:

  1. The central reservation is > 5m
  2. There's a visible gap between average of all GPS traces
  3. It is split by physical barrier (Concrete, Armco, pedestrian barrier etc)

Pedestrian refuges and painted road separation (cross hatching that can be driven over) should not normally be split. Be aware there are a lot of these that were created as split roads during the UK Base-map import, these usually need merging to be a single two-way road.

Naming Convention

Whenever possible, on split roads, name carriageways with the direction of travel. Insert the direction of travel at the end of the road name:

1. M1 (N)
2. A4 (W)
3. M25 (ACW)
4. A57(M) (W)

This makes traffic and incident reports much more useful and helps with navigation.

Ramps (to/from Motorways and Dual Carriageways)

Where should I start the sliproad?

For best navigation and routing advice, sliproads leading:

off a Motorway or Dual Carriageway should be placed to start where

  • The lane begins to divide (in the case of 3/2/1 markers)
  • There is a gantry over the carriageway, where the 1 mile, 1/2 mile etc finishes. This will usually be the last gantry before the actual junction and will be the one without a distance marker on it

on to a Motorway or Dual Carriageway should be placed where

  • the road first joins the adjoining road, i.e. just after the chevrons/lane dividers

Naming Ramps

The following convention should be used for sliproads (ramps):

Exit Ramps:

  1. J<Junction Number> (to <Road Number 1>, <Road Number 2> …)
  2. <Junction Name> (to <Road Number 1>, <Road Number 2> …)
  3. Junction to <Road Number 1>, <Road Number 2>…
  4. (<Services name>) Services

If the junction has a name displayed on the signs on approaches to it, then that should be used for the ramp name (#2). Otherwise, ramps should start with the word "Junction" (#3).

1. J4 to A464
2. Tibbet's Corner to A219
3. Junction to A3
4. Beaconsfield Services

See discussion at

Entry Ramps:

“Entry to” <Road Number> (<Direction>) (<Junction Number>)

1. Entry to M54 (E) J4
2. Entry to A46 (N)
3. Entry to M1 (S) J24
4. Entry to M1 (N) J24
5. Entry to M25 (N) J15
6. Entry to M5 (N)


  1. Fields marked in parenthesis (<field>) are optional.
  2. Onward roads should only added if they are shown on road signage as this is an aide to the driver to confirm they have the correct exit [Hint: look on streetview]
  3. Roads with clockwise or anticlockwise directions (e.g. M25) should have have ramp directions taken from signage which will typically be N, S, E or W (e.g. Entry ramp example 5) [Hint: look on streetview]
  4. Both Exit example 4 and Entry example 6 above refer to Motorway Service Area (MSA) entry/exit ramps that do not have a junction number. Where an MSA is integrated into a standard junction normal ramp naming applies.
  5. Please set the City Name to "None". (ie Put a tick in the box, don't actually name it "None"). This should help with City smudges.

Junction Naming

Major junctions, particularly on motorways, should be labelled with a landmark.

Under no circumstances should the road name or city name fields of a segment be used for naming of a junction.

Detailed information and examples have been moved to the Landmarks Wiki Page

Road Name & Number

Where a road exhibits both a road number and name the following convention should be used:

<Number> - <Name>

1. A7 - Old Dalkeith Rd
2. A1 - Edinburgh Rd

This gives both a consistent appearance and allows a straightforward transfer if/when Waze UK moves to the official Department for Transport designations.

The same can also be said for adding the direction of travel on single/dual carriageways with an A-road designation in the form

<Number> (Direction) - <Name>

1. A2 (W) - Dover Rd
2. A229 (N) - Cuxton Rd


Roundabout segments should typically remain unnamed. If the roundabout does have a proper, signposted name, then this can be labelled using a landmark of "Junction/Intersection" type that fills the centre of the roundabout. This only applies to big roundabouts that are larger than 30 metres.

Detailed information and examples have been moved to the Landmarks Wiki Page

For further advice on editing roundabouts, see Editing Junctions and Roundabouts

Motorway Service Areas

Information on mapping Motorway Service Areas is now on the Landmarks Wiki Page


  • Lay-bys should only be included where there is significant separation from the main road (e.g. grass, trees or a physical barrier) in a similar way to deciding if a road is dual carriageway.
  • Routes in and out should be mapped with roads of "Parking Lot Road" type, with appropriate directions and turns.
  • The Lay-by road should have no city name and the road name set to "[P]".
  • A Landmark is not required for lay-bys.

Lay-by Examples:

This example shows significant separation between the road and Lay-by: Good Layby 1.jpg

This example is only separated by the distance between the (N) and (S) carriageways which is the minimum that you should map. Note that the "parking lot road" is mapped over the area that vehicles park on to improve separation: Good Layby 2.jpg

This example does not have enough separation for the Lay-by to be mapped: Bad Layby 1.jpg

(Note: this example is zoomed in closer that the previous two!)

Bypass or By-pass?


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