[OSM-talk] UK: Trunk-Primary

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Mon Aug 13 10:01:41 BST 2007

Ben Robbins wrote:
> The question is what matters?   What matters in my opinion is being  
> able to use the maps to plan a journey, and dividing the A roads by  
> management does this indirectly, as HA roads are a lot faster nearly  
> always (don't list exceptions please),

I'd concur with Tom. There is virtually no use for the average driver  
in knowing who runs a given road.

HA roads (which are now called "strategic", not "trunk", except for  
legislative purposes) are inter-city routes suitable for all traffic  
(e.g. high HGVs), not fast ones per se. All the trunk roads in the  
Marches, for example, are way slow, often slower than the alternative  
routes (A40 Gloucester-Ross? Ha!). And whether inter-city is useful  
rather depends on whether you're going from one city to the other.

The difference between "primary A" (green), "non-primary A"  
(black/white), and B, however, is much, much more significant to the  
average driver.

If you really want to note who runs UK roads, I suggest you use something like

  management=Highways Agency
  management=Scottish Executive
  management=Midlands Expressway Ltd
  management=UK Roads Ltd
  management=Leicestershire County Council

and then, in the rare case that you wanted to highlight those managed  
by a specific organisation, you could match on that tag. But bear in  
mind that _no_ UK maps now differentiate trunk/HA-managed roads in  
that way. Even the OS has abandoned the A34(T) notation for trunk  
roads on its maps, and just shows them the same as other primary A  

Certainly, navigable waterways could do with a management tag:

  management=British Waterways
  management=Environment Agency
  management=Manchester Ship Canal Company
  management=open navigation

and I guess railways, too (Network Rail, TfL...).

As said before, I rather like the Michelin approach, which is that  
they ignore classifications entirely and classify roads by their own  
objective, worldwide standards (one of which, for example, appears to  
be grade-separated junctions with high-speed entrances and exits). But  
I can't see that happening easily here.

> 3) Primary Roads, roads which aren’t HA, and don't have green signs.

No. That's wrong. All primary A roads have green signs _except_ where  
the authority has made a mistake. Local authorities are very bad at  
signage. ;)


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