Are we tagging the National Byway correctly?

I’ve been surveying the National Byway and its loops in Yorkshire and I was just wondering if we are actually tagging it correctly.

The Wiki page ( states that the loop relations should be tagged as type=route, route=bicycle, network=National Byway, name=loop-name but tagging it this way doesn’t render it on the cycle map.

However the page on relations of type route ( says to “Specify the [cycle] network as a national route, a regional route, or a local route, as per the normal tagging of cycle routes” using network=ncn/rcn/lcn.

I interpret this to mean that ncn simply indicates any national cycle network and not necessarily just Sustrans’ National Cycle Network.

Therefore, as the Byway is a national network shouldn’t we be tagging it as:
name=National Byway

(Not sure what to put under ref=?? and the loops could be regional cycle networks rather than national)

As an experiment I tried changing the Easingwold loop to:
type = route
route = bicycle
network = ncn (I could have used rcn)
ref = National Byway (I used this as it’s the ref that renders and not the name)
name = Easingwold Loop

and you can see how this renders at but you will need to be quick as I notice that Richard has changed it back again!

I think this looks ok and uses the existing features of the cycle map rendering.

To make the Byway render properly the cycle map would need only a generic change to render the name and not just the reference, a change that is surely required to benefit all of the other routes that exist and don’t yet render (The Trans Pennine Trail, The White Rose Way etc). At the moment the cycle maps needs to be changed to specifically render the Byway but my proposal to render the name avoids this.

What do people think?

Edit: Would a region= tag be useful too? The Byway is very much split into regions.

My understanding (I haven’t read the wiki, the wiki is usually wrong and edited by people who don’t do any mapping, and I don’t expect it to buck the trend in this example :wink: ) is that network=ncn is for a country’s national cycle network.

The National Byway is not Britain’s national cycle network. The Sustrans network is.* I think you could ask 5,000 authorities on the subject on that, and (discounting those who would say “the roads are our national cycle network”), 90% would agree. That’s good enough for OSM.

Therefore the National Byway should not be tagged network=ncn.

On the rendering issue, I believe Andy is happy in principle to render the National Byway separately, he just hasn’t had time to change the config yet. You’re right that it looks ok on the example you cite, but it’d look rubbish as you zoom out: the shields aren’t designed for long names like that. The Garmin cyclemap I did the other week certainly renders the National Byway differently, and as “live renderers” become more commonplace (Cartagen, Halcyon etc.), the issue of relying on one particular rendering will go away.

For informational purposes, the National Byway and the NCN deserve different renderings, too. The National Byway is laid out to very different standards (less strict on traffic levels, for example, and on signage) and it’d be misleading to give someone used to the NCN the impression that the National Byway would be the same sort of thing.

Over and above that, though, many congratulations for all the work you’re doing on mapping it - really great stuff and another demonstration of the usefulness of OSM.

  • Actually, you could even say that the NCN is more than just Sustrans’ routes. The Trans-Pennine Trail, for example, is not principally a Sustrans route but is nonetheless numbered as part of the NCN.

Thanks Richard. If that’s the general view then that’s fine. :slight_smile: