Roads in the United Kingdom
Generally we follow the standard global guidelines for mapping UK roads in OpenStreetMap. This page provides supplementary guidance specific to the UK.
Also see Road signs in the United Kingdom.
Please use the following table when deciding which highway=* tag to use.
|A-roads with primary status (signed yellow on green)||highway=trunk|
|A-roads with non-primary (secondary) status (signed black on white)||highway=primary|
|Busy unclassified through roads
(Generally used only on roads wide enough to allow two cars to pass safely where adequate road markings are in place; may have unsigned categories such as C, D or U: see Tagging Road Numbers, below)
|Other (i.e., not in the above classes) non-residential roads in towns. Examples include; minor shopping streets, roads in commericial districts, and public roads in industrial areas.||highway=unclassified|
(Used only on roads that have no other function other than for residential purposes)
(driveways, carpark entrance roads, private roads, bus-only roads, etc). Please remember access=* and service=* where applicable
|Private roads||highway=* access=private|
|Track (Larger than a path; generally big enough to fit a vehicle down).
Use in conjunction with tracktype=*.
Reference: List of deprecated features.
Tagging road numbers
The ref=* tag should only be used on roads which are signposted with a national official number. These are Motorways, A-roads, B-roads and, in a very small number of special cases, some roads signposted by the local authority with a C-prefix.
In all other cases, such as use of road numbers from highway authorities statutory lists, use official_ref=*. If you do want to use this latter information, please ensure that your source is free of copyright or otherwise compatible with our licence.
Unpaved country roads
In a number of places there exist designated public highways which are unpaved and not regularly unmaintained by the local highway authority. They usually look like tracks, and only detailed local knowledge is likely to uncover that their status is different. Known examples include Red Lodge Road highway=track even though the highway authority may record them as unclassified roads. Additional tags which should be added are access=yes, surface=*, tracktype=* and, possibly, designation=public_highway. In many areas such roads & tracks have been formally designated as byways or restricted byways and the tagging is then straightfoward.& Blackspinney Lane in Leicestershire. It is recommended that these be mapped as
Historically the UK OpenStreetMap community tracked our progress as we mapped UK roads. This information is no longer kept up to date but you can still see the pages here: