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This forms part of UK Editing Best Practice. Please read in conjunction with the USA global page on Road types, which has more specific information about each Road type and their characteristics.

Using the correct Road type and naming of segments is a key part of mapping in Waze. Road type influence route planning, particularly on long journeys where Waze will prioritise the major Road types. The naming of segments give users a consistent experience and can also influence routing and detour mechanisms.

Road types

Be aware of the WME language setting! This article uses localised names which can be found when using the English (UK) language.

The following convention should be followed where possible, although it is acknowledged that you may need to deviate from it in some circumstances.

Waze Road Type UK Road Types
 Motorway  All Motorway & Motorway class A roads (locked to L5)  M60   A1(M) 
 Major Highway  A-class roads that are classified as Primary Routes (locked to L4)  A4600 
 Minor Highway  Non-primary A-class roads  A614 
 Primary Street  B-class roads and unclassified roads carrying heavier traffic, often seen on Ordnance Survey maps in yellow or orange.  B547 
 Street  Urban Streets, low traffic rural roads
 Narrow Street  DO NOT USE - This Road type is currently not deemed useful for mapping in the UK (See UK forum discussion) NB: UK Champs may use this in limited situations for testing purposes.
 Private Road  Road with no access for the general public, public roads with legal prohibition on through routing in both directions (private road sign, no motor vehicles except for access sign, or a closable gate).
 Parking Road  Roads within a car park, or other places where we don't want Waze to monitor speed and potentially generate a traffic jam report, in particular petrol station forecourts. Read more on car park mapping on the UK Car Parks page.
 Off-road / Not maintained  Unsurfaced road which is often impassable for normal cars and only suitable for 4x4 vehicles.

Unpaved checkbox - This attribute can be selected for all Road types but should only be applied to Street Road type and below. This checkbox can be applied to segments that cover roads that are unsurfaced or of poor construction but is still passable by a normal car. Users can avoid roads marked with this attribute applied within the App settings. Segments that ford rivers and are usually passable by normal cars should be mapped as a short Street segment covering the area that floods, the unpaved checkbox ticked, and the be named [FORD].

Non-drivable - Walking Trails are a group of non-drivable Road types available in the WME found under the Road menu. User experience can be improved by using these appropriately, you can read more when to use these Road types on the UK Footpaths page.

Primary Route Network

The primary route network (PRN) designates roads between places of traffic importance across the UK, with the aim of providing easily identifiable routes to access the whole of the country. Primary routes are marked green on most road maps and road signs are green with white and yellow text. The WMEOpenData extension for Firefox and Chrome can overlay this data directly within the editor.


Click Expand to view a list of current exceptions. →

As with any rule, there will be some exceptions. There are two specific scenarios which are allowed to deviate from the Ordnance Survey (OS) map:

  • A roads that connect between motorway or PRN networks, then it should also be Major Highway
  • A section of primary road is restricted to some traffic, and there is another primary route nearby, then it can be demoted to Minor Highway
Exceptions should be discussed on the forum and documented below, and can be locked to a higher level.
Exception Reason
A1080 London Colney Bypass Upgraded to Major Highway - Links the  A414  to the  M25 
A1290, Sunderland Downgraded to Minor Highway - With the completion of the Northern Spire bridge the  A1231  has been rerouted and the old route is now the  A1290  shown with white background on directional signs, the Queen Alexandra Bridge has also been downgraded to the  B1539 .
A2, Chatham Downgraded to Street - The High Street is restricted to buses only. The  A2 New Rd  to the south is the preferable route.
A20, Maidstone Downgraded to Street - Not PRN. Several bus/taxi only roads adjacent to the  A20 .
A256, Dover Downgraded to Minor Highway - The entire  A256  road network south of  A2  is not PRN. See Sabre for details.
A243 Leatherhead Bypass Upgraded to Major Highway - Links the  A24  with the  M25  junction.
A3 Hope St, Portsmouth Upgraded to Major Highway - The main Out of City route is signposted northbound along Hope Street. Consequently Marketway & Commercial Rd have been downgraded to Primary Street.
B306, Roehampton Upgraded to Major Highway - Turning right from  A205  to  A306  is only possible via this small loop of B road.
A3216, Battersea Upgraded to Major Highway - Shown as PRN in the OS data, but not signed as a primary route in Google Streetview imagery (May 2018). Would benefit from site visit to confirm current status.
A4146 / A509, Milton Keynes Upgraded to Major Highway - Links the  A5  to the  A421  to the  M1 
A43, Corby / Kettering Upgraded to Major Highway - Relatively new bypass that became the  A43 , Consequently, the old route, now the  A4300  and  A6183  have been downgraded to Minor Highway.
A45, Weedon Bec Upgraded to Major Highway - This new bypass has been designated the  A45 . The old route, has been downgraded to Primary Street.
A46, Grimsby Upgraded to Major Highway - Although not shown by OS as PRN this short length of  A46  links with the  A16 . Road has green backed signs along route.
A460, Cannock Upgraded to Major Highway - Newer  A460  bypass replaces older route, consequently the now designated  A4601  has been downgraded to Minor Highway.
A465, Hereford Upgraded to Major Highway - Newer  A465  link road replaces older route, consequently Commercial Road has been downgraded to Primary Street.
A527, Newcastle Under Lyme Upgraded to Major Highway - This section of road links the  A527  with the  A500 . The old route, now designated the  B5370 , has been downgraded to Primary Street.
A56, Bury Upgraded to Major Highway - This section of road joins the  A56  and the  A58 
A577, Atherton Downgraded to Minor Highway & Street - Eastern and southern section pass through a pedestrianised zone. Consequently Bag Ln at the western end, which has green backed signs, has been upgraded to Major Highway to complete routing in this area.
A58, Bury Upgraded to Major Highway - Links the  A58  to the  A56  to create equal routing right & left respectively.
A6, Kegworth Upgraded to Major Highway - This new bypass road has been designated the  A6 . The old route, has been downgrade to Primary Street.
A6, Loughborough Upgraded to Major Highway - The central area of Loughborough has been pedestrianised and the  A6  has been diverted along an upgraded relief road.
A6097, Newton (Notts) Upgraded to Major Highway - Following the dueling and realignment of the  A46 , the spur of the  A6097  and Fosse Way have been upgraded to ensure continuous routing at this junction due to its current layout.
A614, Howden Upgraded to Major Highway - Links the  A63 ,  A614  with the  M62 
A617, Mansfield Upgraded to Major Highway - Although not shown on OS maps as PRN, this bypass road has green backed signs and therefore has been upgraded.
A664, Manchester Downgraded to Minor Highway - Google Streetview (May 2018) of  A664 Rochdale Rd  shows it has white backed signs and no longer part of the PRN.
A665, Manchester Upgraded to Major Highway -  A665 Miller St  now one way, the opposite direction has been promoted to ensure continuous routing.

Naming Conventions

Roads with number

Classified road in the UK are known by a single letter and number combination which should be included in the segment name so that Waze instructions include identifying information. When naming dual carriageway segments, the addition of a cardinal direction should be included to ensure clear instructions are given and useful incident reports. The segment should be named in the following format;

Format: : <Letter & Number> (<Direction>) - <Name>
Examples: : M45 (E) Motorway with cardinal direction
A1(M) Motorway class A Road, note no spaces are used
A7 - Old Dalkeith Rd A Road with local name
A2 (W) - Dover Rd A Road with cardinal direction and local name
Andover St Road with local name

The UK has 3 classifications of roads; Motorways (M), A Roads, and B Roads. All other roads are unclassified. You may discover that local authorities maintain a database of roads they manage and use C, D, and U labels. These are internal labels only and should never be shown on public signs, they should not be added to segment names.

When naming Motorway segments, the City field should be set as None, this prevents City name smudge across the map.


Major junctions, particularly on motorways, should be labelled with a landmark. Under no circumstances should the road name or city name fields of a segment be used for naming of a junction.

Ramp naming

Ramp names to be short, useful and unambiguous. Names should not include Junction to nor Entry to. Cardinal directions (N, S, E, W) should only be included if they are included on signs and provide clarity. Like other abbreviations, the > character can be used, and is read out as towards, this should be used only if needed. Entry and Exit should be considered equal for the purposes of naming, and should be named to give the most useful instruction to the driver. Ramps should not have a City name, this helps prevent city smudge.

Junctions with numbers
  • All segments from numbered junctions should be mapped as Ramps to ensure exit instructions are given
  • The name should begin with the exit number and then the name of the road it leads to, ideally without cardinal directions
  • When motorways split, short wayfinder ramps should be used so that these names don't appear in the App
  • Do not include junction numbers on entry ramps.
Format: : J<number> to <simple road name>
Example: : J4 to A464
Junctions without numbers
  • If a ramp connects directly to exactly 1 other road, then it can be left unnamed, the instructions will naturally take on the name of the next segment
  • It may be desirable to name the ramps more simply to remove cardinals or road names
  • If the ramp connects to a roundabout, then an unnamed segment will often give optimal instructions. If the routes away from the roundabout are not signed from the main road the ramp should be named to match the exit signs.
Format: <simple road name>
Example: A1 rather than A1(M) (N) or A1 - Great North Road
  • Where a ramp forks into two directions, then the ramp names should include cardinals (if signed) or towards a city based on the signage
  • If a city name is used only one city from the directional sign is to be used, preferably the one which is listed first
On the M25, where relevant, directions to Heathrow or Gatwick should take precedence
  • If the section of ramp before a fork is particularly short, then the preceding segment can be left unnamed with any junction number written in the forked segments
This does result in longer announcements, so should be avoided if possible
  • Where both directions of a road are connected to a roundabout, then ramps can be disambiguated using > city instead of cardinals, as per the signage.
Format: <simple road name> (<cardinal direction>)
<simple road name> > <city name>
Junction > <city name> if connecting road has no name / number
Example: A1 (N) & A1 (S)
M62 > Manchester & M62 > Hull


Roundabout segments should remain unnamed. If the roundabout does have a proper, signposted name, then this can be labelled using an Area Place, with category set to Junction/Intersection, that fills the centre of the roundabout. This only applies to big roundabouts that are larger than 30 metres.

For further advice on editing roundabouts, see Editing Junctions and Roundabouts


Due to the size of most devices it is advantageous to keep on screen text to a minimum. When naming segments the following abbreviations should be used to conserve space. Each will be expanded by the Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine and voice instructions will read aloud the full word, Ave will be read as Avenue, etc.

When naming a segment the first word word in the name should never be abbreviated, nor should names that only include single words (excluding The). Green Street should be written as Green St and The Boulevard be written in full. Multiple abbreviations in the same segment name can be used where appropriate, Aston Boulevard West can be written as Aston Blvd W.

Road name Abbreviation
Avenue Ave
Boulevard Blvd
Broadway Bdwy
Circus Cir
Close Cl
Court Ct
Crescent Cr
Road name Abbreviation
Drive Dr
East1 E
Garden Gdn
Gardens Gdns
Green Gn
Grove Gr
Junction1,2 J
Road name Abbreviation
Lane Ln
Mount Mt
North1 N
Place Pl
Park Pk
Ridge Rdg
Road Rd
Road name Abbreviation
Saint3 St.
South1 S
Square Sq
Street St
Terrace Ter
West1 W


  1. Should you require TTS to read a letter, such as Car Park E, place a period (.) directly after the letter.
  2. J, used for road junction numbers, is the only abbreviation that can lead a segment name.
  3. The period (.) in the abbreviation of Saint is important otherwise it will be read as Street.

Bypass or By-pass?


Road shields

Road shields are linked to the street attribute of a segment, this is the full address <Street>+<City>+<County>+<Country>. Setting a shield on 1 segment will set it for all matching segments.
It is recommended that you install the [Road Shield Assistant] script to assist with see current road shields and affects of any changes you make.

Shields on segments

To match with the Road Type convention used in the UK, road shields should be mapped as follows;

  •  Motorway  - For use on  Motorway  with 1 or 2 digitals  M1   M42 
  •  Motorway (wide)  - For use on  Motorway  with 3+ digits  M602   A38 (M) 
  •  Primary Route  - For use on  Major Highway  A-Roads that form part of the Primary Route Network  A14 
  •  Non-Primary Route  - For use on all other  Minor Highway  A-Roads  A4030 
  •  Junction No.  - For use on junction ramps that have signed numbers  21 .

Changing the shield on a segment will change the shield on all segments with the same name, however far away they may be. Likewise, changing the name of a segment will change the shield if the name matches another.

Due to the implementation of this feature, extra care must be made when assigning road shields to segments with an identical street attribute when it changes Road Type, the most likely scenario will be A-roads that change from PRN to non-PRN. Mapped Road Types have no influence on the displayed shield.

At this time (May 2021) road shields do not show on the client app for mapped Primary Street road type but but may be added if needed for turn instructions.

Junction shields should not include the letter J.

Shields on turn instructions

Turn arrows now allow editors to set the visual instructions at a turn. Editors should do their best to match the road sign at the turn. The road shield (1st) and corresponding destination name (2nd) in the Visual instructions field, and any additional destination names in the Towards field.

Road numbers within brackets  (A460)  should not be included at all as they are not directly off the junction, nor should road numbers be written in the Towards field.

In order to receive the correct turn instructions with road shields on roundabouts make sure to add the turn guidance on the exit turn from the roundabout. The turn guidance from the exit will be copied to the entry one. When adding turn instructions on roundabouts the signage on each exit should take precedence over any approach signs.

Exit signs should only be used when exits have a signed junction number, no J required.

Dual Carriageways

A dual carriageway is a road which has a central reservation to separate the carriageways. This means 1 or more lanes in either direction. A road should be split into 2 one-way segments if any of the following conditions are met:

  1. The central reservation is wider than 5 metres
  2. There's a visible gap between average of all GPS traces
  3. It is split by physical barrier (Concrete, Armco, pedestrian barrier etc)

Pedestrian refuges and painted road separation (cross hatching that can be driven over) should not normally be split. Be aware there are a lot of these that were created as split roads during the UK Base-map import, these usually need merging to be a single two-way road.

Ramp mapping

0-mile gantry off ramp

Ramp segments should be used when mapping grade-separated junction and at major junctions, such as motorways and dual carriageways. Positioning where Ramps diverge from the main carriageway and merge with it will improve navigation and routing advice.

Ramps leading off a motorway or dual carriageway should be placed to start where;

  • The lane begins to divide from the main carriageway (in the case of 3/2/1 markers)
  • There is a 0-mile gantry over the carriageway, where the 1 mile, 1/2 mile, etc finishes. This will usually be the last gantry before the actual junction and will be the one without a distance marker on it.

Ramps leading on to a motorway or dual Carriageway should be placed where;

  • the road first joins the main carriageway, i.e. just after the chevrons / lane dividers


  • Lay-bys should only be included where there is significant separation from the main carriageway (e.g. grass, trees or a physical barrier). Similar to deciding if a road is dual carriageway.
  • All segments should be mapped with Road type set toParking Road, with appropriate directions and turns
  • The lay-by segment should have it's name set to [P] and have no City name
  • Do not map lay-bys with Area Places.
Lay-by with significant separation
Minimum separation for mapping, similar to distance between (N) & (S) carriageways
No separation, only dotted white line


Railway lines should be mapped using the  |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| Railroad |-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|  Road type. They appear in the client, and they keep Wazers on trains from polluting the speed data of nearby roads. Tracks should be drawn as simply as possible - they do not need to be accurate out in the country where no one can see them, a single mapped segment can cover multiple lines common in most stations, and mainlines.

Due to the potential length of railway segments they should be split at County borders to prevent smudging County names on the map.

Segment Properties:

  • Name: No Name
  • City: No City
  • Type: Railway
  • Direction: Two-way
  • Level: Ground
  • Lock: 3
You may find railway segments locked to 5 and set to -5 Level. This was the old standard and can be set to the current standard if all road segments along their routes have been correctly mapped with bridges & level crossings.

Railway segments can be connected to the road network at level crossings, without any risk of Waze routing drivers onto the tracks. The extra granularity of segments at the crossing provides more accurate routing information. All turns should be enabled, no red arrows please.

Railways that are underground or where they pass through tunnels should not be mapped.

Level Crossing Alerts

Level crossing throughout the UK have now been mapped with LCAs. These are alerts similar to cameras and work in the same manner in the client. LCAs should be mapped in the same method as a camera on both sides of the railway line. The LCA should be placed close to the junction of the road and railway segment, aim to be between the barrier (if it has one) and stop line of the crossing.

You can discuss more about LCAs and get assistance in the dedicated forum post.


Ferries should be mapped using the  • • • • Ferry • • • •   Road Type. This should be connected to the road network at either end and be mapped to follow a single line using the average / approximate route of the ferry service. If the ferry service charges for the crossing, and the vast majority do, it should also have the toll attribute ticked. If the ferry service has a regular schedule, the segment should include Time Based Restrictions to prevent Waze routing through the ferry crossing when no service is running.

Only regular vehicle ferry services be mapped. The UK have mapped the prices for all inland ferry services so you will find the segments locked to L5 to prevent accidental damage. Should you spot an issue or need to edit these segments you should contact a Country Manager / Local Champ for assistance.

Passenger / foot ferries should not be mapped.

Bridging segments

When road segments pass over or under another feature (road, river, railway, etc), the segment level should be set to the correct +ve / -ve number. It can be beneficial to split the segment to create a bridge segment. This allows editors to close the shortest possible length of road when a physical bridge is closed for inspections, repairs, or any other reason.

  • "older" roads, with properties along them, should be split by segment nodes tight to each side of the physical bridge. This enables Waze to navigate to addresses adjacent to the bridge when the bridge segment is closed.
  • "newer" roads, with no properties along them, do not need to be split as the whole segment level can be changed. Such roads, such as bypasses, are always closed junction to junction.