Road signs in the United Kingdom

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This page is under construction, and perhaps always will be. It is intended to help those mappers in the UK that are new to the project, or those more experienced but encountering something new to them, work out what is probably the best way to tag it.

Please note: This is intended as a guide based on what contributors to the page think is best. There may be other equally acceptable alternatives - if so add them to this page with an "or" separator or discuss first on the discussion page.

Please also note: Some of the tags here may not appear in Map Features and are suggestions instead to cover a requirement. As a result, some validator tools may highlight them as errors to be checked.

Warning signs

Shape is generally triangular.

Note: Not many warning signs are currently shown here, as there doesn't seem to be much in information on how to tag them. In the longer term, many warnings will apply to a section of road between similar warning signs at either end of the section. Feel free to add more warning signs with a suggested tagging method.

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
510 UK traffic sign 510.svg Roundabout junction=roundabout on how to tag the roundabout itself.
611.1 UK traffic sign 611.1.svg Mini Roundabout highway=mini_roundabout to the intersection node where the mini roundabout is located. Also add direction=clockwise.
516 UK traffic sign 516.svg Road narrows on both sides ahead traffic_calming=choker on the part of the way
523.1 UK traffic sign 523.1.svg Steep hill downwards incline=value%

Note: in OSM the percentage is +ve or -ve to indicate up or down relative to the direction the way has been drawn. See Key:incline. The tag should be applied between the warning of steep hill downwards at the top and (if present) the warning further down the hill of steep hill upwards for oncoming traffic.

524.1 UK traffic sign 524.1.svg Steep hill upwards incline=value%

Note: in OSM the percentage is +ve or -ve to indicate up or down relative to the direction the way has been drawn. See Key:incline

530 UK traffic sign 530.svg Height restriction warning maxheight=14'6"

Where only imperial dimensions are given, it is recommended that the tag value be entered exactly as is on the sign, which is likely to always include inches even if they are 0. A conversion to a metric height is unlikely to be the same as the limit imposed if the restriction is later updated to a dual units sign, as there are rules to do with rounding that are used for safety reasons.

543 UK traffic sign 543.svg Traffic Lights highway=traffic_signals + traffic_signals=signal
545 UK traffic sign 545.svg Children Crossing / Playing hazard=children to a way/node.
549 UK traffic sign 549.svg Sheep hazard=animal_crossing + hazard:animal=livestock to a way/node.
548 UK traffic sign 548.svg Cattle hazard=animal_crossing + hazard:animal=livestock to a way/node.
550.1 UK traffic sign 550.1.svg Horse riders hazard=horse_riders to a way/node.
551 UK traffic sign 551.svg Wild animals hazard=animal_crossing + hazard:animal=wild_animal to a way/node.
552 UK traffic sign 552.svg Cattle Grid Mark a node on the way where the grid is located and tag it as barrier=cattle_grid
557 UK traffic sign 557.svg Slippery road hazard=slippery to a way/node.
528 UK traffic sign 528.svg Hump Back Bridge Mark the bridge with bridge=humpback
559 UK traffic sign 559.svg Falling rocks hazard=falling_rocks on a way/node.

Regulatory signs

Shape is generally round.

Speed limit signs

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
670V50 UK traffic sign 670V50.svg Maximum speed maxspeed=50 mph

Note: While units are (usually) mentioned as being allowed in Map Features, there is a time when they weren't and some mappers tried tagging with just a number based on the speed converted to km/h (with no units, maxspeed is in km/h) with various different roundings, most of which didn't match those posted on signs at exits of ports. It is therefore better to add the mph suffix to be precise.

Note: When a speed limit begins at a T-junction, the sign may be up to 20 metres from the start of the limit. It's not correct to tag a short way with the same limit as the main road!

671 UK traffic sign 671.svg National speed limit

maxspeed=60mph + maxspeed:type=GB:nsl_single or maxspeed=70mph + maxspeed:type=GB:nsl_dual or maxspeed=70mph + maxspeed:type=GB:motorway

The relevant national speed limit applies. For cars, this is currently 70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways, 60 mph on non-motorway single carriageways, including street-lit roads - but only when signed with the national speed limit sign. Because the national limit varies by road type and vehicle type, and because Parliament could change the limit in future without all signs needing changing, it was previously suggested that it might be better to use maxspeed=national rather than maxspeed=60 mph (or whatever) in case any future changes then force a resurvey of every way tagged with =60 mph.

The current recommendation is to tag the highest limit across all vehicle types using the maxspeed key and then add a maxspeed:type key with country-specific values, such as GB:nsl_single or GB:nsl_dual (the non-standard country code "UK" is also seen in places). This has the benefits that clients such as the Open Source Routing Machine can simply use the maxspeed key (but could additionally support country-specific, vehicle-specific maximum speeds), but still permit the update of country-specific national speed limits non-ambiguously.

672 UK traffic sign 672.svg Minimum speed minspeed=30 mph

Vehicles must keep their speed above the stated minimum speed.

674 UK traffic sign 674.svg Entering 20mph zone maxspeed=20 mph

20 zones tend to be residential areas with traffic calming measures, with a 20 mph maximum speed throughout the zone. At the exits from the zones there is a different sign which indicates both the end of the 20 mph limit and what the new speed limit is beyond the zone. Unlike ordinary 20mph limits, 20 zones are intended to be self-enforcing by the traffic calming system.

Note: The similar looking 'Twenty's Plenty' signs (with a green, not red, circle) are not legal limits and should be signed with maxspeed:advised=20 mph.

Vehicular type restrictions

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
619 UK traffic sign 619.svg No motor vehicles motor_vehicle=no
617 UK traffic sign 617.svg No vehicles except bicycles being pushed vehicle=no

foot=yes

Using bicycle=dismount may be useful to show cyclists can still use the way if they push their bicycle.

619.1 UK traffic sign 619.1.svg No motor vehicles except solo motorcycles

motor_vehicle=no

motorcycle=yes

619.2 UK traffic sign 619.2.svg No motorcycles motorcycle=no
622.7 UK traffic sign 622.7.svg No towed caravans caravan=no
951 UK traffic sign 951.svg No cycling bicycle=no
625.1 UK traffic sign 625.1.svg No pedestrians foot=no
952 UK traffic sign 952.svg No vehicles designed to carry more than 8 passengers (excluding driver) or local buses bus=no
622.6 UK traffic sign 622.6.svg No ridden or accompanied horses horse=no
622.5 UK traffic sign 622.5.svg No horse-drawn vehicles carriage=no
622.4 UK traffic sign 622.4.svg No articulated vehicles articulated=no
622.1A UK traffic sign 622.1A.svg No goods vehicles exceeding maximum gross weight shown (in tonnes) maxweight=7.5

Or, to perhaps tag more precisely

maxweight:hgv=7.5

See also size/weight restrictions below.

622.8 UK traffic sign 622.8.svg No vehicles carrying explosives access:explosives=no

No relevant tags mentioned in the wiki, example uses the access:<type>=* to suggest that it is access that is prohibited by the carrying of explosives, rather than just have explosives=no (as per discussion here.

Size/Weight restrictions

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
629.2A UK traffic sign 629.2A.svg Maximum height (metric and imperial) maxheight=4.4

Where both metric and imperial dimensions are given, it is recommended that the metric version be used, which is the default unit for the tag. The metric height is unlikely to be an exact conversion of the imperial.

629.2 UK traffic sign 629.2.svg Maximum height (imperial only) maxheight=14'6"

Where only imperial dimensions are given, it is recommended that the tag value be entered exactly as is on the sign, which is likely to always include inches even if they are 0. A conversion to a metric height is unlikely to be the same as the limit imposed if the restriction is later updated to a dual units sign, as there are rules to do with rounding that are used for safety reasons.

629A UK traffic sign 629A.svg Maximum width (metric and imperial) maxwidth=2.0

Where both metric and imperial dimensions are given, it is recommended that the metric version be used, which is the default unit for the tag. The metric width is unlikely to be an exact conversion of the imperial.

629 UK traffic sign 629.svg Maximum width (imperial only) maxwidth=6'6"

Where only imperial dimensions are given, it is recommended that the tag value be entered exactly as is on the sign, which is likely to always include inches even if they are 0. A conversion to a metric width is unlikely to be the same as the limit imposed if the restriction is later updated to a dual units sign, as there are rules to do with rounding that are used for safety reasons.

626.2AV2 UK traffic sign 626.2AV2.svg Maximum weight maxweight=7.5

It is believed maximum weight limit are all signposted in metric, which is the default for this tag.

629.1 UK traffic sign 629.1.svg Maximum length (imperial only) maxlength=32'6"

Where only imperial dimensions are given, it is recommended that the tag value be entered exactly as is on the sign.

Give way and stop signs

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
602 UK traffic sign 602.svg Give way highway=give_way before the junction
601.1 UK traffic sign 601.1.svg Stop highway=stop before the junction

Turn restrictions

Note: It should not be necessary to tag restrictions such as no left turn where the destination which is prohibited is oneway in such a way that it would be no entry from that end anyway. Turn restriction relations are more for use in situations such as no right turn onto a busy twoway road from a side road. In other words it isn't necessary to add a turn restriction relation every time there is a sign (though there should be no harm in doing so if correctly tagged and not contradicting other tags).

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
613 UK traffic sign 613.svg No left turn restriction=no_left_turn

See Relation:restriction for details.

612 UK traffic sign 612.svg No right turn restriction=no_right_turn

See Relation:restriction for details.

614 UK traffic sign 614.svg No U turn restriction=no_u_turn

See Relation:restriction for details.

Other Prohibitory signs

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
616 UK traffic sign 616.svg No entry
When the direction of the way is the same as the driving direction
oneway=yes
When the direction of the way is the opposite of the driving direction
oneway=yes
Reverse the direction of the way.
642 UK traffic sign 642.svg No Stopping Currently the tag with the most uses is parking:lane:both=no_stopping (or parking:lane:left=* / parking:lane:right=*, whichever is applicable, depending on the direction of the way, and on the side for which the restriction applies to).

Previously suggested tags included stopping=no on the way, or traffic_restriction=no_stopping as suggested by Jonathan Bennett on the talk-gb list, the latter being the more common one of these two at the moment.

632 UK traffic sign 632.svg No Overtaking overtaking=*

Cycle and Pedestrian signs

Tags for cycle tracks drawn as a separate way
Image Description Classic tagging style Alternative tagging style
UK traffic sign 956.svg
Shared cycle/pedestrian path highway=cycleway highway=path;
foot=designated;bicycle=designated;
surface=paved
UK traffic sign 957.svg

UK traffic sign 957R.svg
Segregated cycle/pedestrian path highway=cycleway;
segregated=yes
highway=path;
foot=designated;
cycleway=lane; (implies bicycle=designated)
surface=paved
UK traffic sign 955.svg
Cycle only path (not intended for pedestrians) highway=cycleway;
foot=no*
highway=path;
bicycle=designated;
foot=no*;
surface=paved

* : The route is not intended for pedestrians, but use is not prohibited. Before tagging as foot=no please check that there is a convenient alternative route for pedestrians nearby (e.g. a footway or road).

Information signs

Shape is generally rectangular.

Sign Image Description Tags/Comments
816 UK traffic sign 816.svg No through road noexit=yes

There is an argument that this tag is unnecessary as it should be possible to determine whether a road is a through route or not based on the topology of ways. Some validation tools apparently can use this tag to distinguish between a no through road that ends near another road, and giving a warning for a road which perhaps hasn't been properly joined to a nearby road.

801 UK traffic sign 801.svg Parking amenity=parking
Note for laybys, some have been tagged as
amenity=parking
fee=no
parking=surface
name=Lay-by

Such as relation 5891061 on the A14 near Ipswich.

968.1 UK traffic sign 968.1.svg Cycle parking amenity=bicycle_parking
820 UK traffic sign 820.svg Unsuitable for motor vehicles warning This is only a warning, so the access tags currently aren't really suitable for tagging this sign as they currently relate more to whether you can legally use the route rather than whether it is physically suitable to do so. It is probably best to do something like the following until something better is available.

note=Unsuitable for motors

878 UK traffic sign 878.svg Speed Camera in Operation See Relation:enforcement#Examples for marking any actual cameras.
2713.1V UK traffic sign 2713.1V.svg SOS Point emergency=phone
817.2817.2L UK traffic sign 817.2.svgUK traffic sign 817.2L.svg Escape lane highway=escape
811 UK traffic sign 811.svg Priority over oncoming vehicles priority=forward/backward

Exceptions

Exception examples and how to handle them.

Image Description Tags/Comments
UK no cycling time limits.jpg

No cycling during the hours shown

bicycle:conditional=no @ (Mo-Sa 09:00-18:00)
UK no motor vehicles except.jpg No motor vehicles except those specified

motor_vehicle=no

goods=yes

hgv=yes

taxi=yes

UK no motor vehicles except 2.jpg No motor vehicles at certain times except those specified

motor_vehicle:conditional=no @ (10:00-16:00)

psv=yes

goods=destination