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Public-images-osm logo.svg cycle_network = cycle_highway
Using this tag is discouraged, use cycle_highway=yes instead. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: properties
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Status: deprecated

exclamation mark

This feature has been labeled as deprecated. The recommended replacement is: cycle_highway=yes.
The reason is documented in Deprecated features. You are still free to continue to use or interpret this tag as you see fit since OpenStreetMap does not have “banned features”.
Under no circumstances should you (semi-)automatically change “deprecated” tags to something else in the database on a large scale without conforming to the automated edits code of conduct. Any such change will be reverted.

A cycle highway is a bicycle route, that can be part of a cycle network, where the focus is on functional cycling, such as commuting by bike. It focuses on speed, safety and comfort, not on scenery and recreational value.

How to tag

information sign

This tagging scheme is incompatible with the established cycle_network=* key that it uses. See this discussion. Use cycle_highway=yes instead.

Every route in the network is mapped as one relation. This means that every cycleway/street/... is included as member of a relation having the following tags:

Tags Description

name=F32 Fietssnelweg Brugge - Roeselare

Tagging example for a Belgium cyle highway: F32 from Bruges to Roeselare.
Note that in Belgium network=ncn is preferred for cycle highways.

description=Snelfietsroute Arnhem - Nijmegen

Tagging example for a Dutch cyle highway: RijnWaalpad (F325) from Arhnem to Nijmegen.
Note that in the Netherlands network=rcn is preferred for cycle highways.

Additional tagging

Additionally, if the cycle infrastructure is built on an old railway bed, the ways themselves can get an additional railway=abandoned. This should not be placed on the relation though!

Jaagpaden/towpaths deserve some special attention as well, please see NL:Jaagpad

Country-specific information


In Belgium, a cycle highway is part of a clearly defined and signposted cycle network.

They are mostly built by the provinces in Flanders and the region in Wallonia, originally by upgrading abandonned railways and towpaths. The construction standard is 3-4 m wide, asphalted, two-ways.

In Flanders, the cycling highway network is always indicated with a Fxx-number and called 'fietssnelweg'. The network is currently a combination of sections at standard and interconnection links of varied quality aimed at creating meaningful routes. The provinces are currently building a lot of new infrastructures to upgrade the interconnection links to standard. The Flemish cycle highways are mapped according to the logic outlined at cycle_network=BE-VLG:cycle_highway

In Brussels, the cycle highways will be numbered Cxx.

In Wallonia, the RAVel-routes are similar in properties, but are built almost exclusively on preexisting infrastructure and completed with links on low traffic roads and bicycle friendly tracks to form a comprehensive network.

All Belgian cycle highways are included in this master relation. An official (but often incorrect) overview website is fietssnelwegen.be. A list of mapped relations can also be found on the wiki.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands cycle highways (snelfietsroutes or fietssnelwegen) are marked and/or signposted routes, mainly for commuters. They are built by the provinces. The routes mostly consist of asphalted cyclepaths and cyclestreets. The typical width is 3 to 4 meters for a two-way path.

There are various ways of marking. Sometimes the number is on (cycling) road signage, sometimes the logo or number is painted on the asphalt. In 2019 a pilot started to unify the marking. This includes are green or blue line on the center of the route, which can be followed. A guideline is expected in 2020 or 2021.

Routes can have numbers and/or names. Numbers are prefixed with an F and use the number of a parallel road, sometimes with a leading 1. So the F35 follows the A35/N35, the F173b the A73 and the F261 the N261. Names can be either purely descriptive (Snelfietsroute Waalwijk - Tilburg) or more inventive (RijnWaalpad).

Because of their regional character, Dutch cycle highways use the tag network=rcn, not network=ncn.