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This is probably the longest and most complicated-sounding question you've ever heard.

So, in the UK, there's a route 410, run by Southdown PSV, which runs between Redhill and Hurst Green. This is the normal route.

However, there are many alternate routes for this.

For example, for it's regular route (non-school service), on most journeys, it will travel along the A25 at this area:

However, at certain times (specifically 6:34, 7:25, 7:57, 10:13 and 14:13, from Hurst Green to Redhill; and then at 12:35, 16:15 and 18:35, from Redhill to Hurst Green), the bus instead goes through the Old Oxted area (where the Godstone Road and High Street C84 is) and then travels back on to the A25.

Then there are, as mentioned, school services, of which there are many different routes

These routes are: Sackville School in East Grinstead, to Hurst Green (after which it continues its normal route to Redhill) starting at 7:42

Oxted County School to Redhill (starting just a little way from its normal route) which begins at 15:30

Another route makes a diversion to Oxted County School (arriving at the school at 15:39), which takes a different route altogether through Oxted.

Adding the fact that there will be a second route, in the opposite direction (i.e. from Redhill to Oxted County School, or East Grinstead), there are a total of 5 routes, towards Redhill, and 4 routes going from Redhill.

The reason for 1 extra route towards Redhill, is a route which begins its normal route from Hurst Green to Oxted, but however, diverts to Oxted County School (at 15:39), and then, travels down Gresham Road, turns left towards Snatts Hill, then turns right on to A25, travelling west. However, this is only one route. Of the remaining 4 routes (in either direction), 2 of them are the normal route, where one of them, as mentioned occasionally enters the Old Oxted area, otherwise, by-passes it. The remaining 2 routes, are an East Grinstead to Redhill service (starting at 7:42), and an Oxted County School service (starting at 15:30). These routes also have equivalent reversed routes (i.e. travelling to either Oxted County School or East Grinstead). The Oxted County School route, actually starts at Godstone at 8:12, and the East Grinstead route, starts at Redhill at 15:15.

The basic questions are:

Do I create a separate relation for each separate route?

For routes where it goes from one place, to another, and back, constantly, do I just create one relation for the bus route, but add it twice, for each direction where it travels along the same road in both directions?

If a route normally goes from point A to point B, but sometimes either starts, or ends halfway, how is this done? E.g. a bus might go towards Crawley normally, but at certain times, only go to Gatwick Airport, and turn back. In other words, is there a way of showing when a bus takes a route and when it doesn't?

For the sake of it: Here's the timetable for route 410:

Note the stops that it arrives at, at certain times, but not, at other times.

asked 15 Oct '13, 23:28

TheUltimateKoopa's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Hi theultimatek, you should not explain that's complicated. But please ask the questions separatedly one by one.

(15 Oct '13, 23:37) Hendrikklaas

TheUltimateK: This seems to be a UK-specific thing. Many bus mapping enthusiasts seem to come from Germany, where routes are a lot more consistent.

I'm having similar trouble to you, and am having difficulty in reconciling buses with the OSM relation guidelines. Regarding branching routes, I am not going to do these as separate relations (for one thing, what would you call them all - there are 20+ variations in my case). I'll try and do them with super-relations, with extra roles like "alt_segment_1_begin".

None of the relation checkers seem to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of UK transport.

(26 Oct '13, 14:16) mwbg

There are no provisions (yet) for branching of bus routes in OSM as of now.

So, yes, you should always create one relation per possible variant of the bus route. That, in your case, may mean MANY relations (5 in one direction, 4 in the other), and ONE route_master relation grouping all of the variants.

Also, you should always create separate relations for the two directions of the bus route, except in the specific case of "circular" routes.

Tag the child relations with the appropriate tags for the working hours, as needed.

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answered 17 Oct '13, 19:56

MCPicoli's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%

There are no provisions (yet) for branching of bus routes in OSM as >of now.

This is sorely needed. In the UK, you need to keep atop the "not all buses go that way" mentality. I've never seen a bus map without asterisks, dotted-lines, brackets, footnotes. Using multiple relations is unhelpful: you wouldn't see the commonality in the core of the route.

Tag the child relations with the appropriate tags for the working >hours, as needed.

How does this work ? To what is the time referenced ? If it's now 1930 and the bus route finishes at 1915 and I'm half way along, have I missed it or not ?

(26 Oct '13, 18:30) mwbg

It is not referenced to a specific time. OSM simply isn't suitable to store timetables, because it is very likely that such information soon gets outdated.

Timetables tend to switch often for some minutes. These working hours are therefore rough estimations to distinguish night services from peak hour services from all-day basic services. I tend take the time of the most important stop along the route and then round it to the next quarter hour.

(28 Oct '13, 07:11) Roland Olbricht

As a very late reply to this question (like a late bus!), while it's indeed "correct" to create separate relations for each variant, in practice nobody is going to go to the effort to create 5 separate relations to cover 5 once a day variants.

The same applies to many of the once a day or even week routes that exist in the UK.

As a result British buses outside London are poorly mapped. I try to add routes on if I myself might find it useful, but only ones at a decent frequency, and just put a note in the description to cover "one a day" variant workings.

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answered 28 May '23, 20:39

Mikey%20Co's gravatar image

Mikey Co
accept rate: 0%

edited 28 May '23, 20:49

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question asked: 15 Oct '13, 23:28

question was seen: 8,668 times

last updated: 28 May '23, 20:49

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum