Roads History


This forms part of UK Editing Best Practice. Editors are encouraged to follow these guidelines.


The following abbreviations should be used where possible to conserve screen space.

Road Name Abbreviation TTS Expansion?
Avenue Ave Yes
Boulevard Blvd Yes
Broadway Bdwy Yes
Circus Cir Yes
Close Cl Yes
Court Ct Yes
Crescent Cr Yes
Drive Dr Yes
Garden Gdn Yes
Gardens Gdns Yes
Green Gn Yes
Grove Gr Yes
Junction (as in Motorway Jxx) J Yes
Lane Ln Yes
Mount Mt Yes
Place Pl Yes
Park Pk Yes
Ridge Rdg Yes
Road Rd Yes
Saint St. Yes
Square Sq Yes
Street St Yes
Terrace Ter Yes
Valley Val Yes


  1. Roads like "The Avenue", "The Green" etc should not normally be abbreviated.
  2. TTS = Text To Speech

Road types

The following convention should be followed where possible, although it is acknowledged that you may need to deviate from it in some circumstances.

Waze Road Type UK Road Types
Freeway Motorway & Motorway class A roads
Major Highway A-class roads that are classified as Primary Routes
Minor Highway Non-primary A-class roads
Primary Street B-class roads and unclassified roads carrying heavier traffic, often seen on Ordnance survey maps in yellow or orange.
Street Urban Streets, Low traffic rural roads
Private Road Road with no access for the general public, or public road with legal prohibition on through routing in both directions (normally "private road" sign, "no motor vehicles except for access" sign, or a closable gate)
Parking Road Roads within a car park, or other places where we don't want Waze to monitor speed and potentially generate a traffic jam report, in particular petrol station forecourts. See also advice elsewhere about not overmapping car parks.
Dirt Road / 4x4 Trail Unsurfaced road, or a ford (water-splash) which is often impassable for normal cars.

For Freeways leave the City Name as "None", so as to stop the City Names smearing. For Motorway class A roads, name as Axx(M). (No spaces).

Non-drivable - aren't really worth adding, as Waze is an app aimed at commuters who drive, but if you really feel the need to add these, be careful and make sure that they DO NOT connect to drivable roads as Waze has been known to route people along footpaths and the like!

Primary Route Network

The PRN is defined by A roads which connect between Primary Destinations, and have green signs along them. We use the Ordnance Survey Maps as our source for this classification, i.e. the roads marked in green colour. The WMEOpenData extension for Firefox and Chrome can overlay this same data directly within the editor.


As with any rule, there will be some exceptions. There are two specific scenarios which are allowed to deviate from the OS map:

  • If there's an A road that connects between motorway or PRN networks, then it should also be Major Highway
  • If a section of primary road is restricted to some traffic, and there is another primary route nearby, then it can be demoted to Minor Highway

Exceptions shall be discussed on the forum and documented below, and can be locked to a higher rank.

Exception Reason
A1080 London Colney Bypass Joins A414 to M25
A2, Chatham The High Street is restricted to buses only. The A2 New Rd to the south is the preferable route.
A20, Maidstone Not PRN - Several bus/taxi only roads adjacent to the A20.
A256, Dover The entire A256 road network south of A2 is not PRN. See Sabre for details.
A283, Leatherhead Link between A24 PRN and motorway junction.
A3, Portsmouth The main "Out of City" route is signposted North along Hope Street.
B306, Roehampton Turning right from A205 to A306 is only possible via this small loop of B road.
A3216, Battersea Shown as PRN in the OS data, but not signed as a primary route in Streetview imagery. Would benefit from site visit to confirm current status.
A4146/A509 Milton Keynes Joins A5 (PRN) to A421 (PRN) to M1
A43, Corby/Kettering New road, compliments the now renamed A4300. Road signs are green, OS zoom7 shows both old and new roads as PRN.
A46, Grimsby Link End of A46 shown by OS as PRN with A16 as Major Highway. These roads are signed as green.
A460, Cannock Newer A460 replaces older A4601
A527, Newcastle Under Lyme This is not part of the PRN anymore since the link road was built to the A500 at the junction of Grange Ln and Church Ln.
A56, Bury Joins the PRN between A56 and A58.
A577, Atherton Eastern and southern section passes through a pedestrianised zone. Bag Ln at the western end is signposted as PRN and needed to complete the route eastbound and westbound.
A58, Bury Joins the PRN turning right from A58 to A56.
A6, Loughborough The central area of Loughborough has been pedestrianised and the A6 has been diverted along an upgraded relief road.
A6097, Newton (Notts) The spur of the A6097 is not shown as PRN but roads are green on signs, the link roads going to/from A46 (S) Ramps have also been set as major highway to ensure a continuous route (these were formerly the A46). Note: The Aerials and Street-view here are significantly out of date following the upgrading of the A46 to Dual carriageway, the current layout was checked with a physical site survey.
A614, Howden OS Map doesn't connect the primary route to the motorway, leaving a gap that could affect routing.
A617, Mansfield A617 is shown as Primary in some sources, and does have green signs
A664, Manchester Streetview of Rochdale Rd shows it has white signs, so it is not PRN.
A665, Manchester Recent roadworks have made A665 - Miller St one way, so it makes sense to promote the other way.

Dual Carriageways

The following convention should be followed where possible, although it is acknowledged that you may need to deviate from it in some circumstances.

When to Split

A road should be split into be 2 one-way roads if any of the following conditions are met:

  1. The central reservation is > 5m
  2. There's a visible gap between average of all GPS traces
  3. It is split by physical barrier (Concrete, Armco, pedestrian barrier etc)

Pedestrian refuges and painted road separation (cross hatching that can be driven over) should not normally be split. Be aware there are a lot of these that were created as split roads during the UK Base-map import, these usually need merging to be a single two-way road.

Naming Convention

Whenever possible, on split roads, name carriageways with the direction of travel. Insert the direction of travel at the end of the road name:

1. M1 (N)
2. A4 (W)
3. M25 (ACW)
4. A57(M) (W)

This makes traffic and incident reports much more useful and helps with navigation.

Ramps (to/from Motorways and Dual Carriageways)

Where should I start the sliproad?

For best navigation and routing advice, sliproads leading:

off a Motorway or Dual Carriageway should be placed to start where

  • The lane begins to divide (in the case of 3/2/1 markers)
  • There is a gantry over the carriageway, where the 1 mile, 1/2 mile etc finishes. This will usually be the last gantry before the actual junction and will be the one without a distance marker on it

on to a Motorway or Dual Carriageway should be placed where

  • the road first joins the adjoining road, i.e. just after the chevrons/lane dividers

Naming Ramps

The following convention should be used for sliproads (ramps):

Exit Ramps:

  1. J<Junction Number> (to <Road Number 1>, <Road Number 2> …)
  2. <Junction Name> (to <Road Number 1>, <Road Number 2> …)
  3. Junction to <Road Number 1>, <Road Number 2>…
  4. (<Services name>) Services

If the junction has a name displayed on the signs on approaches to it, then that should be used for the ramp name (#2). Otherwise, ramps should start with the word "Junction" (#3).

1. J4 to A464
2. Tibbet's Corner to A219
3. Junction to A3
4. Beaconsfield Services

See discussion at

Entry Ramps:

“Entry to” <Road Number> (<Direction>) (<Junction Number>)

1. Entry to M54 (E) J4
2. Entry to A46 (N)
3. Entry to M1 (S) J24
4. Entry to M1 (N) J24
5. Entry to M25 (N) J15
6. Entry to M5 (N)


  1. Fields marked in parenthesis (<field>) are optional.
  2. Onward roads should only added if they are shown on road signage as this is an aide to the driver to confirm they have the correct exit [Hint: look on streetview]
  3. Roads with clockwise or anticlockwise directions (e.g. M25) should have have ramp directions taken from signage which will typically be N, S, E or W (e.g. Entry ramp example 5) [Hint: look on streetview]
  4. Both Exit example 4 and Entry example 6 above refer to Motorway Service Area (MSA) entry/exit ramps that do not have a junction number. Where an MSA is integrated into a standard junction normal ramp naming applies.
  5. Please set the City Name to "None". (ie Put a tick in the box, don't actually name it "None"). This should help with City smudges.

Junction Naming

Major junctions, particularly on motorways, should be labelled with a landmark.

Under no circumstances should the road name or city name fields of a segment be used for naming of a junction.

Road Name & Number

Where a road exhibits both a road number and name the following convention should be used:

<Number> - <Name>

1. A7 - Old Dalkeith Rd
2. A1 - Edinburgh Rd

This gives both a consistent appearance and allows a straightforward transfer if/when Waze UK moves to the official Department for Transport designations.

The same can also be said for adding the direction of travel on single/dual carriageways with an A-road designation in the form

<Number> (Direction) - <Name>

1. A2 (W) - Dover Rd
2. A229 (N) - Cuxton Rd


Roundabout segments should typically remain unnamed. If the roundabout does have a proper, signposted name, then this can be labelled using a landmark of "Junction/Intersection" type that fills the centre of the roundabout. This only applies to big roundabouts that are larger than 30 metres.

For further advice on editing roundabouts, see Editing Junctions and Roundabouts


  • Lay-bys should only be included where there is significant separation from the main road (e.g. grass, trees or a physical barrier) in a similar way to deciding if a road is dual carriageway.
  • Routes in and out should be mapped with roads of "Parking Lot Road" type, with appropriate directions and turns.
  • The Lay-by road should have no city name and the road name set to "[P]".
  • A Landmark is not required for lay-bys.

Lay-by Examples:

This example shows significant separation between the road and Lay-by: Good Layby 1.jpg

This example is only separated by the distance between the (N) and (S) carriageways which is the minimum that you should map. Note that the "parking lot road" is mapped over the area that vehicles park on to improve separation: Good Layby 2.jpg

This example does not have enough separation for the Lay-by to be mapped: Bad Layby 1.jpg

(Note: this example is zoomed in closer that the previous two!)

Bypass or By-pass?



Railway lines should be drawn in as Railroad type roads, particularly if there are other streets nearby. They will soon appear in the client, and they potentially keep Wazers on trains from polluting the local speed data.

Tracks should be drawn as simply as possible - they do not need to be accurate out in the country where no one can see them, and it is not necessary to map individual tracks through a station.

Segment Properties:

  • City: No City
  • Name: No Name
  • Type: Railroad
  • Direction: Two way
  • Level: Ground, unless actually going under or over over another road
  • Lock: 3

Railroad segments can be connected to the road network at level crossings, without any risk of Waze routing drivers onto the tracks. The extra granularity of segments at the crossing provides more accurate routing information. All turns should be enabled (no red arrows please).

Check that:

  • "old" roads, with addresses along them, are broken by segment nodes each side of a railway bridge. This enables Waze to navigate to addresses adjacent to the bridge when Network Rail close the road for engineering works.
  • "new" roads, with no addresses along them, are not broken at railway bridges, since such roads are always closed junction to junction, and intermediate nodes are a nuisance (sometimes necessary for speed limit changes, but not for bridges).

Railways which are underground (i.e. through tunnels) must not be mapped.

For more detailed information on railways, please see the Road_types/USA#Railroad but be aware that the guidelines written above take precedence.

Note: it is often necessary to split railways lines at county boundaries to avoid smudging the county name into the wrong area.

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