[Talk-GB] Quiet lanes and "one car per minute"

Ralph Smyth RalphS at cpre.org.uk
Wed Jan 26 17:24:48 GMT 2011

In terms of existing traffic count data, the problem is that generally
(and indeed as is the case in Oxfordshire) it tends to be available only
for A and B roads rather than many unclassified (and C) roads.

The problem with marking lightly trafficked roads as 'quiet lanes' on
OSM is that this is actually a formal legal designation, the rural
equivalent of a home zone. I'm not aware of any other country other than
the UK that has anything similar. You can see the sign by rule 218 of
the Highway Code, although some pre-2006 schemes used a different sign:
So there should be a 'quiet_lane' value for highway, just as there is

I agree that having some data on whether country lanes are havens of
tranquillity or rat runs is really useful for route planning and leisure
purposes, or indeed trying to protect them from further motor traffic
increases. That's why CPRE has been working on this issue:

Unfortunately motor traffic has been growing faster on these roads than
any other type and this has had a big impact in many rural areas: 
So is there a simple way to record when the traffic data was gathered
(as opposed to when it was added to OSM)? 

At a risk of getting too complex, in some areas there's a big difference
in motor traffic levels at the weekend: in the City of London they are
very low, around rural pubs and honey pot sites they can be high, even
if the weekly average is low.

Perhaps best just to have something simple like a 'lightly_trafficked'
tag for quiet urban streets as well as country lanes?

PS I've had some great cycling on twisty Cornish lanes, just got to make
sure one's brakes are functioning perfectly and you know which bank to
jump on if someone else comes round the corner too quickly...

Craig Loftus craigloftus+osm at googlemail.com
Tue Jan 25 16:37:59 GMT 2011

Something reminded me of this thread and my suggestion that data for
roads may already be collected. This seems to be true of Oxfordshire and
is even published. The counts are collected by automatic and manual
means by
the Transport Monitoring team of Oxfordshire County Council.


The descriptions of the sections of road covered leave a lot to be
but it is useful data none the less.

There isn't a mention of license for reuse so I've just sent off an


On 20 January 2011 23:05, ael <law_ence.dev at ntlworld.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 01:58:43PM +0000, Craig Loftus wrote:
> > I like the idea. And although I like the simplicity, I think it
might be
> > worth somehow taking account for seasonable variability. There a
> of
> Agreed. In Cornwall, for example, roads that are very quiet for most
> the year become insanely busy during the tourist season. Mind you the
> high banks and restricted views make cycling on those narrow twisty
> something not to be undertaken lightly in any season.
> Adrian
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-GB mailing list
> Talk-GB at openstreetmap.org
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