[Tagging] highway=track access

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Fri May 30 12:39:53 UTC 2014

On 30 May 2014 08:28, Dave F. <davefox at madasafish.com> wrote:
> I believe byway shouldn't be deprecated. In my area most of them are signed
> as just 'byway' on the ground. There is no indication of their legal status
> (BOATs etc),

An official-looking council-installed sign saying "Byway" will almost
certainly be indicating a "Byway Open to All Traffic" -- in my
experience it's as reliable an indication as any other public right of
way signs that the council might put up. (Some errors will obviously
be made by the council, and some signs will not get changed when the
right of way status changes. It also seems common around me for the
council to have put up "Bridleway" signs on former RUPPs, which are
now Restricted Byways. But a plain "Byway" sign is almost always

In any case, I don't think there's any need for highway=byway.
Physically it's no different from a highway=track (or possibly
highway=bridleway or highway=path, depending on the accessible width).
If you don't believe the official status from the sign, then don't add
a designation=* tag. I don't think a "Byway" sign that's not believed
should have any effect on the highway=* tag. Whether it's officially a
Byway (Open to All Traffic) or not, the highway=* tag should reflect
the physical situation of the way.

> AFAIA, there is no non copyrighted source for these.

There is, or at least there could be if you can get permission from
the council to use it. Councils are required to maintain both a
Definitive Map of their Rights of Way (which will be subject to OS's
copyright, and so not usable) and a Definitive Statement (containing a
written description of each Public Right of Way). OS have explicitly
stated that they don't claim any rights in the written Definitive
Statement, so if you can get permission from the council to use it in
OSM, then we can do so. See
http://robert.mathmos.net/osm/prow/council-docs.html for further

> I think many that have been tagged with designation=* have been
> sourced from OS data.

I hope that's not the case...


Robert Whittaker

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