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Public-images-osm logo.svg carriageway_ref
The carriageway reference used for maintenance and emergency services (United Kingdom). Edit or translate this description.
Group: Properties
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: unspecified


carriageway_ref is used to distinguish the two separated carriageways of a dual carriageway road. These markers allow emergency services and maintenance agencies to locate where incidents may be occurring, and people calling for breakdown services to locate themselves to their breakdown operator. This is very different from the ref=* tag, which is used to indicate the road number.

European use

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the main carriageways of a road are usually designated "A" and "B", with the off sliproad from the "A" side being "J" and the on sliproad being "K", with "L" and "M" being used for corresponding "B" carriageway sliproads. "C" and "D" are used for where motorways or other divided highways have collector/distributor lanes, e.g. the M20 near Maidstone or M60 around Manchester. Some more complicated junctions use other references.

Usual Carriageway Identifiers used on Driver location signs.

The reference values can be considered common knowledge because they are given on wikipedia:Driver location signs signs (e.g. M27 B 2.8, as seen in the image right) and are also printed upon the emergency telephones.

See also