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Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = service
Alley leading from the High Street to Green Lane Shopping Centre - geograph.org.uk - 942796.jpg
Generally for access to a building, service station, beach, campsite, industrial estate, business park, etc. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Rendering-highway service.png
Group: highways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
Status: de facto

The highway=service tag denotes ways used for vehicle access to a building, service station, industrial estate, business park, beach, campsite, etc. It is also used for access to parking, driveways, and alleys. Service ways are usually not part of the public street network and may sometimes be inaccessible to the general public, which can be specified explicitly by adding access=*.

Service ways have local  traffic function. Some of them may be restricted to local access only in the sense of motor_vehicle=destination (often signposted as "local traffic only"), but this is not implied by default. As such, this is not a tag for frontage road, sometimes called a service road, which should be tagged depending on what function the frontage road serves.

How to map

To map service ways create a way way and add the tag highway=service. To define a service way in more detail, see service=*.

Linear ways and areas

The tag highway=service predominantly describes a linear feature of a routable way. When mapped as a closed polygon without any further tagging, it describes a linear, circular way and not an area.

When the service road has an occasional widening, e.g. the paved area in an industrial estate, that can be mapped as a filled area by drawing a closed polygon, and adding area=yes. This area tag, however, should not be used to generally describe the shape or general width of a linear way, a few mappers use area:highway=service in addition to the linear way for this purpose.

Tags used in combination


Description Tags Image
Service way for access to a fuel station amenity=fuel
also an area with
and a way with
Subordinated service ways on a parking lot In an area with
often multiple ways with

The main ways on the parking lot, connecting multiple parking_aisle should be mapped with highway=service, only.

Parking lot at Norra Älvsborgs Länssjukhus (NÄL) 1.jpg
A driveway is a service road leading to a residence, property or place of business highway=service
Even if there are a few parking spots on the property, it remains a driveway.
Driveway to Gairnshiel Lodge - geograph.org.uk - 442952.jpg
176 Nile Street driveway garden.jpg
An alley: A narrow road, alley or path between properties highway=service
Alley melbourne.jpg
A service road for emergency access highway=service
Consider adding access permissions to the highway, such as access=no and emergency=yes.
Str 432 Berlin-Marienfelde Feuerwehrzufahrt.jpg
N9401HJwS nWlpFtbgZmIA.jpg

Deprecated: highway=service for busways

An elevated busway (and cycleway). Using highway=service for such busways is deprecated. highway=busway should be used instead.

Historically, highway=service has also been used to tag busways. This is deprecated because busways do not meet the definition of service roads given above. Generally, this tagging of busways should be replaced by one of the following, depending on the nature of the way:

This does not apply to those roads which do meet the definition of service roads above, even if only used by buses e.g. for access to a building, bus station, or parking and not for through-traffic as part of a busway. See highway=busway for more information and examples.

See also