From Wazeopedia


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 )
 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. FORDS ***

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.


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 
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.
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 Convention

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;

<Letter & Number> (<Direction>) - <Name>
M45 (E)
A7 - Old Dalkeith Rd
A2 (W) - Dover Rd

The UK has 3 classifications of roads Motorways (M), A Roads, and B Roads. All other roads are unclassified. When naming Motorway segments, the City field should be set as None, this prevents City name smudge across the map.

Ramps (to/from Motorways and Dual Carriageways)

Where should I start the sliproad?

For best navigation and routing advice, sliproads leading:

off a Motorway or Dual Carriageway should be placed to start where

  • The lane begins to divide (in the case of 3/2/1 markers)
  • There is a 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

on to a Motorway or Dual Carriageway should be placed where

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

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.
J[number] to [simple road name]
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 form the roundabout are not signed from the main road the ramp should be named to match the exit signs.
[simple road name]
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.
[simple road name] ([cardinal direction])
[simple road name] > [city name]
Junction > [city name] if connecting road has no name / number
A1 (N) & A1 (S)
M62 > Manchester & M62 > Hull

Junction Naming

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.

Road Name & Number

Where a road exhibits both a road number and name the following convention should be used:

<Number> - <Name>

1. A7 - Old Dalkeith Rd
2. A1 - Edinburgh Rd

This gives both a consistent appearance and allows a straightforward transfer if/when Waze UK moves to the official Department for Transport designations.

The same can also be said for adding the direction of travel on single/dual carriageways with an A-road designation in the form

<Number> (Direction) - <Name>

1. A2 (W) - Dover Rd
2. A229 (N) - Cuxton Rd


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
Valley Val
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.


Roundabout segments should typically remain unnamed. If the roundabout does have a proper, signposted name, then this can be labelled using a landmark of "Junction/Intersection" type 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

Dual Carriageways

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

When to Split

A road should be split into be 2 one-way roads if any of the following conditions are met:

  1. The central reservation is > 5m
  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.


  • Lay-bys should only be included where there is significant separation from the main road (e.g. grass, trees or a physical barrier) in a similar way to deciding if a road is dual carriageway.
  • Routes in and out should be mapped with roads of "Parking Lot Road" type, with appropriate directions and turns.
  • The Lay-by road should have no city name and the road name set to "[P]".
  • A Landmark is not required for lay-bys.

Lay-by Examples:

This example shows significant separation between the road and Lay-by: Good Layby 1.jpg

This example is only separated by the distance between the (N) and (S) carriageways which is the minimum that you should map. Note that the "parking lot road" is mapped over the area that vehicles park on to improve separation: Good Layby 2.jpg

This example does not have enough separation for the Lay-by to be mapped: Bad Layby 1.jpg

(Note: this example is zoomed in closer that the previous two!)

Bypass or By-pass?



Railway lines should be drawn in as Railroad type roads, particularly if there are other streets nearby. They appear in the client, and they keep Wazers on trains from polluting the local speed data.

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, and it is not necessary to map individual tracks through a station.

Segment Properties:

  • City: No City
  • Name: No Name
  • Type: Railroad
  • Direction: Two way
  • Level: Ground, unless actually going under or over over another road
  • Lock: 3

Railroad 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).

Check that:

  • "old" roads, with addresses along them, are broken by segment nodes each side of a railway bridge. This enables Waze to navigate to addresses adjacent to the bridge when Network Rail close the road for engineering works.
  • "new" roads, with no addresses along them, are not broken at railway bridges, since such roads are always closed junction to junction, and intermediate nodes are a nuisance (sometimes necessary for speed limit changes, but not for bridges).

Railways which are underground (i.e. through tunnels) must not be mapped.

For more detailed information on railways, please see the Road_types/USA#Railroad but be aware that the guidelines written above take precedence.

Note: it is often necessary to split railways lines at county boundaries to avoid smudging the county name into the wrong area.

« Back to UK Editing Best Practice