[Talk-GB] Distinguishing between RCN and LCN

Jim Avery jim at jimavery.me.uk
Fri Sep 24 14:33:20 BST 2010

On 24 September 2010 13:30, Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net> wrote:
> Hi all,
> There seems to be a bit of confusion on which cycle routes are tagged as RCN
> (Regional) and which as LCN (Local).
> I think, at first, the idea was that the three tags would correspond to the
> three types of numbered routes in the UK: NCN for the National Cycle Network
> (white numbers on red, allocated nationally), RCN for Regional Routes (white
> numbers on blue, allocated per county), LCN for local routes (colours vary).
> But in practice it's never quite that easy.
> - Some routes of an equivalent standard to two-digit white-on-blue Regional
> Routes elsewhere are marked with different colouring (e.g. white-on-green in
> Gwynedd) or numbers (e.g. single digits in the Sperrins, Northern Ireland).
> - Some routes do have a Regional Route number, but it isn't used on the
> signs much (Yorkshire Dales Cycleway) or at all (Rutland Water Circular
> Route).
> - And, anyway, Sustrans is bringing former Regional Routes into the National
> numbering scheme, often with three-digit numbers.
> So with the gradual demise of the 'official' Regional Route scheme, I'd
> suggest we formalise what seems to be largely (but not always) accepted
> practice:
> - NCN (network=ncn, or ncn_ref=*) is used for the National Cycle Network -
> signposted as white numbers on red.
> - RCN (network=rcn, or rcn_ref=*) is used for routes and networks of
> county/regional scope. For example, the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway, the
> Sperrins network, and existing Regional Routes (until they become NCN).
> - LCN (network=lcn, or lcn_ref=*) is used for routes and networks of
> city/town scope. For example, the numbered networks within London,
> Worcester, Oxford; and the unnumbered but coherent network within Cambridge.
> Any thoughts?

Thanks for bringing the subject up, Richard.  You can tell from my
comments on various Wiki talk pages I've found it quite baffling!

>From what I've inferred from various comments on the Wiki and what's
happening on the ground I think your approach is probably spot on.

I'd quite like to know whether their NCN numbering system now makes
any distinction between national, regional and local routes.  For
example, is there any significance that some routes have single digit
numbers, some two digit and some three?

Is anyone on Talk-GB already in touch with Sustrans and able to have
that discussion with them?  It's unfortunate that Sustran's own web
page on the subjects seems hopelessly out of date now:


A review and rationalisation of the OSM Wiki pages would probably be
useful.  I don't mind helping with some of the tedious parts of doing
that when we're happy and agree we know what needs doing.



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