[Talk-GB] National Cycle Network removal/reclassification

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Sat Jul 18 13:47:31 UTC 2020

Hi all,

As some of you may be aware, Sustrans has embarked on a project to review and improve the National Cycle Network.

As part of this, sections of routes which Sustrans thinks have no realistic prospect of being brought up to a minimum standard in the near future are being either removed from the network entirely, or "reclassified" - which in practice means that they might still be signposted as cycle routes, but not with an NCN number, and probably maintained/promoted by local authorities rather than by Sustrans. Generally, these are minor roads where the level of traffic is too high.

For example, the Avon and Wiltshire circular cycleways (currently NCN 410 and 254 respectively) will be reclassified out of the NCN, while the routes in Rutland have been pretty much removed entirely.

Sustrans' own website mapping has just been updated to take account of this, which you can see at https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ncn . The dashed lines are reclassified, while some sections have been removed entirely.

It's not currently released under an open licence so not suitable for direct inclusion into OSM. I will see if I can get permission for the data to be used.

I believe that "re-signing" will be starting imminently so you may start to see route signs removed, or the numbers being patched over, or replaced with route logos or names. At which point, of course, it's fair game for OSM.

Where a section of route has been removed, it'll be a straightforward case of removing it from the relation (or on occasion deleting an entire relation). Where one has been reclassified, I suspect the tagging decision is less clear. Sometimes we might want to move it to a new relation with network=rcn or network=lcn; sometimes I suspect there could be a case for keeping it in the existing relation with a 'link' role; sometimes we may want to have two partly overlapping relations, one for the now shortened NCN route, another for the full named route (e.g. NCN 78 vs the Caledonian Way). There may even be cases where a route is removed from the NCN but remains as a EuroVelo route.

[writing in a personal capacity only etc. etc.]
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