Locking Policy History


There are only a limited number of situations when segments or venues should be locked to a certain level, which are laid out below. This page hope to provide some guidance on when segments or venues may be locked, however this should always be an informed decision made by the editor based on circumstances such as whether a road or place is complete.

This guidance aims to highlight the maximum lock level to be used for the convenience of the community.

If you lock segments, your name will be recorded on them and you will generally be considered responsible for their state.

Some userscripts highlight segments and places with suggestions for lock levels. These may not be country specific and this guidance takes priority at all times.
Any editor found mass-editing lock levels simply because this policy suggests a maximum lock level is likely to face reduction of editor rank and/or removal of AM/CM rights.

Automatic locks

The UK makes use of a system that protects segments generally based on the density of the traffic using it, and therefore how critical it is to client routing. This is an entirely objective and automatic system. Segments are assessed and divided into one of five groups, the busiest 2% are eligible for auto locks. Waze periodically reassess the segment groups and the lock level of any segment that is auto locked may change its lock level accordingly when this happens.

In the UK, we have chosen to limit auto locks to 4;

Percentile auto lock Availability
< 98% Auto (1) Anyone can edit
98% - 98.5% Auto (2)
98.5% - 99% Auto (3) All Area Managers
99% - 100% Auto (4) All senior Area Managers

A segment can be manually locked to any level (between 1 and 6), or to it's auto level.

  • Unless there are special circumstance, no segment should be manually locked below it's auto lock level.
  • Any segments manually locked at their auto lock level should be set to their auto lock instead. This will allow the periodic reassessment to change the lock levels as appropriate.
  • Segments may be manually locked above their auto lock level, if required as detailed elsewhere on this page. For example, all segments of Motorway and their junctions will be manually locked at 5.
  • If most of a road is auto locked at a higher level than a few segments, those segments may be manually locked to the same level.

Segments that should be locked


Motorways should be locked at 5, including their associated ramps & junctions. These are major routes that rarely change without publicly available information and need to be protected to keep major routing working. Editing will normally only be done by level 5 editors or UK Country Managers / Admins.

Major Highways (UK Primary Route Network)

Major Highways should be locked at 4. These are primary routes that need to be protected to keep primary routing working. Country Managers, and senior Area Managers are able to make necessary changes or verify unlock requests.


Railroads should be locked at 3 as they are not likely to change once drawn, and serve an important role to prevent polluting speed data to adjacent drivable segments.

Toll Segments

Segments marked with the toll attribute should be locked at 5 to prevent interference. Any toll segment used for toll pricing should also include a Map Comment to reduce the likelihood of accidental changes.

Segments that may be locked

You should not normally be locking segments unless they are complete:

  • Segments aligned to aerials / GPS tracks
  • Junction geometry adjusted for proper navigation instructions
  • Speed limited checked and verified
  • Turn restrictions set correctly
  • Road type set correctly
  • Correctly named.

You should not lock segments unless you are regularly visiting the forums to deal with unlock requests.

Minor Highways (A Roads)

A roads may be locked up to 3. Complex junctions or particularly important sections may be locked up to 4 by a local, active AM/CM if considered strictly necessary.

Primary Streets

Only primary Streets that are classified B roads should need to be locked - and these may be locked up to 3.

Parking Roads

Parking Roads that are part of a minimally mapped car park may be locked up to 3 to prevent well meaning editors mapping every lane of a car park, against UK car park mapping policy.

Other situations

The use of a Map Comment should be considered to highlight the following situations before the use of lock levels as they can provide detailed information and the ability for collaboration with other editors.

Roads not matching aerials

The aerial images supplied by Google get updated at varying intervals across the country. This means changes to the road network are not always shown for some time after they require changing. In this situation segments may by locked higher than normal to prevent well-meaning editors correcting them.

Unexpected situations

These are odd situations that occur sometimes. For example: a no-right-turn where you wouldn't expect one; a short one-way segment at the end of a two-way road; a deliberate no-name segment joining double-mini roundabouts.

If you think that a feature is likely to be reverted by someone who doesn't know what was intended, it may be locked higher than normal.


If an area is subject to repeated bad edits, it may be locked higher than normal. This should only be done after discussion with the community and the approval of the UK Country Admins (who may want to take further action).

Places that should be locked

Places that are important, or take a lot of effort to draw, should be locked.

Petrol Stations should be locked at 3 as they provide a key feature in the client for determining fuel prices and nearby search.

Access limited Petrol Stations, like Costco, should be lock at 4 due to their specific mapping.

Car Parks should also be locked at 3 as they are offered as nearby destinations to wazer routing.

Natural features (Sea, Lakes, Rivers Forests and Woods) should be locked at 3 as once drawn they are unlikely to change and are generally simplified when shown in the client so do not require mapping every minute detail.

Places that may be locked

All other Places that have been edited and are considered complete may be locked up to 2 so that a new user editing them triggers a Place Update Request requiring approval. Places are considered complete when all available details are added;

  • address
  • entry point(s)
  • External provider linked (Google)
  • website URL
  • phone number
  • relevant services selected
  • opening times
  • any other relevant info.


Speed cameras and red light cameras should be locked to match the level of the segment they are mapped along.

Level 6 locks

On rare occasions where we may need to use level 6 locks. These would include particularly unusual situations such as the previously mapped Time-Based Toll Restriction constructions all around the London Congestion Charging Zone. Since L6 is reserved for the Country Admins, they will all be aware of these locations. If you have a situation that you feel needs a level 6 lock, please post on the forum for discussion.

Staff locks

As the UK is a self-managed community there should no longer be any segments locked to Staff (level 7). Should you encounter a segment that needs editing locked to this level you should make the usual request in the UK Editor Request Forum.