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.

Introduction

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

Abbreviations

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 Yes
Circus Cir No
Close Cl Yes
Court Ct Yes
Crescent Cr Yes
Drive Dr Yes
Garden Gdn Yes
Gardens Gdns Yes
Green Gn Yes
Grove Gr Yes
Junction (as in Motorway Jxx) J Yes
Lane Ln Yes
Mount Mt Yes
Place Pl Yes
Park Pk Yes
Ridge Rdg Yes
Road Rd Yes
Saint St. Yes
Square Sq Yes
Street St Yes
Terrace Ter Yes
Valley Val No

Notes:

  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 A-class roads that are classified as Primary Routes
Minor Highway Non-primary A-class roads
Primary Street B-class roads and unclassified 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!

Primary Route Network

The PRN is defined by A roads which connect between Primary Destinations, and have green signs along them. We use the Ordnance Survey Maps as our source for this classification, i.e. the roads marked in green colour. The WMEOpenData extension for Firefox and Chrome can overlay this same data directly within the editor.

Exceptions

As with any rule, there will be some exceptions. There are two specific scenarios which are allowed to deviate from the OS map:

  • If there's an A road that connects between motorway or PRN networks, then it should also be Major Highway
  • If a section of primary road is restricted to some traffic, and there is another primary route nearby, then it can be demoted to Minor Highway

Exceptions shall be discussed on the forum and documented below, and can be locked to a higher rank.

Exception Reason
A1080 London Colney Bypass Joins A414 to M25
A2, Chatham The High Street is restricted to buses only. The A2 New Rd to the south is the preferable route.
A20, Maidstone Not PRN - Several bus/taxi only roads adjacent to the A20.
A283, Leatherhead Link between A24 PRN and motorway junction.
A3, Portsmouth The main "Out of City" route is signposted North along Hope Street.
A3216, Battersea Shown as PRN in the OS data, but not signed as a primary route in Streetview imagery. Would benefit from site visit to confirm current status.
A4146/A509 Milton Keynes Joins A5 (PRN) to A421 (PRN) to M1
A43, Corby/Kettering New road, compliments the now renamed A4300. Road signs are green, OS zoom7 shows both old and new roads as PRN.
A46, Grimsby Link End of A46 shown by OS as PRN with A16 as Major Highway. These roads are signed as green.
A56, Bury Joins the PRN between A56 and A58.
A577, Atherton Eastern and southern section passes through a pedestrianised zone. Bag Ln at the western end is signposted as PRN and needed to complete the route eastbound and westbound.
A58, Bury Joins the PRN turning right from A58 to A56.
A6097, Newton (Notts) The spur of the A6097 is not shown as PRN but roads are green on signs, the link roads going to/from A46 (S) Ramps have also been set as major highway to ensure a continuous route (these were formerly the A46). Note: The Aerials and Street-view here are significantly out of date following the upgrading of the A46 to Dual carriageway, the current layout was checked with a physical site survey.
A460, Cannock Newer A460 replaces older A4601
A527, Newcastle Under Lyme This is not part of the PRN anymore since the link road was built to the A500 at the junction of Grange Ln and Church Ln.
A6, Loughborough The central area of Loughborough has been pedestrianised and the A6 has been diverted along an upgraded relief road.
A614, Howden OS Map doesn't connect the primary route to the motorway, leaving a gap that could affect routing.
A617, Mansfield A617 is shown as Primary in some sources, and does have green signs
A665, Manchester Recent roadworks have made A665 - Miller St one way, so it makes sense to promote the other way.
B306, Roehampton Turning right from A205 to A306 is only possible via this small loop of B road.

Railways

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:

Examples:
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).

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

See discussion at https://www.waze.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=65194.

Entry Ramps:

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

Examples:  
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)


Notes:

  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>

Examples:
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>

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

Roundabouts

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

Service Areas and Motorway Service Areas (MSA) should be mapped according to the following convention which uses a combination of different wiki entries:

  • Slip roads on and off the route should be mapped according to the wiki entry for Ramps (e.g. "M1 (N) Exit to Services" to enter the MSA and "Entry to M1 (N)" to leave the MSA).
  • Use the Road type "Streets" for all through-roads (linking the ramps).
  • Parking should be mapped only with minimal parking roads, as per Car Parks - no area places.
  • Petrol Station forecourts should be mapped according to the wiki entry for Petrol Stations.
  • Use the Road type "Private Road" for limited access roads (with no public right of way).
  • Do not add a City or Street name to any road with the exception of the ramps.
  • Add Places for the major buildings on site (i.e. Services Buildings etc).

A good example is the Strensham Services North on the M5 between J8 and J7. The currently selected segment in the link is the access road.

Lay-bys

  • 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?

Bypass.


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