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

Labels for unclassified roads are incredibly useful. Have we lost them? How can they be retrieved? Is there another. Ap that shows them?

asked 03 Oct '16, 22:20

RuralR1der's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


There are many, many ways of viewing OpenStreetMap data. Which one was it that "lost" unclassified road numbers? Can you give a link (such as on the OpenStreetMap website) to a road that lost its number?

(03 Oct '16, 22:26) SomeoneElse ♦

Here is an overpass turbo query to run showing ways tagged with "highway_authority_ref"~"c*"

(04 Oct '16, 03:46) nevw
(04 Oct '16, 03:48) nevw

Thanks for your help. I'm a newly so much appreciated. However, I used to get these automatically in the range of tools. Has something changed? Or am I missing a trick? Do I always now go onto the links you suggest?

(04 Oct '16, 09:28) RuralR1der

By the way your last link didn't reveal C labels

(04 Oct '16, 10:42) RuralR1der

As a general rule, OpenStreetMap maps "what's on the ground". C roads in the UK are not (with one or two exceptions) signposted on the ground: they are administrative arcana, of interest and use to comparatively few people. Indeed, they have the potential to be actively confusing - a navigation device based on OSM data which said "Turn left onto the C50" would be misleading, as the cyclist/driver wouldn't see any signs for the C50 to follow.

Consequently, the UK OSM community has made the decision not to record C road numbers in the ref tag (which is the one displayed on the default map at but in other tags. Where these numbers have been entered in the ref tag in the past, mappers are slowly moving them to these other tags. That doesn't mean the data has been deleted, just that it won't show up on the default map.

If you want to see the data, there are other tools available to inspect the data, such as those mentioned below. Alternatively, you can use the 'Show map data' checkbox on the main site, or the 'Edit' tab, to view the raw data. Or, of course, you can make your own map from OpenStreetMap data which does choose to show the C road data!

permanent link

answered 04 Oct '16, 10:34

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 04 Oct '16, 10:34

Thanks for explaining. I understand the arcane point, but road names rather than numbers aren't often used in the countryside either. But it's a shame because people rely on their more informative mob maps rather than just the sign post. And engineers love to obfuscate with arcane detail e.g. Latest dreadful speed review "of C60" Who can engage with that? I've now saved the hikebike map which serves my purposes very well.

(04 Oct '16, 10:44) RuralR1der

Here's the link to the group of C roads that no longer have labels c50, c60, c51 and c8

permanent link

answered 04 Oct '16, 01:15

RuralR1der's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 04 Oct '16, 03:20

nevw's gravatar image



Does for example have a ref of C60 displayed anywhere [in the real world]? If not, in what way is this reference "incredibly useful"?

(this is a genuine question by the way - I know some people do like adding unsigned references to OSM and would genuinely like to know what people do use these references for).

(04 Oct '16, 08:05) SomeoneElse ♦

I'm using C labels today in order to respond to a planning application as a public Consultee. In the past for cycling route description. For participation in a local authority run transport group for the community etc.

(04 Oct '16, 09:32) RuralR1der

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 03 Oct '16, 22:20

question was seen: 22,467 times

last updated: 04 Oct '16, 10:49

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