Traffic Sign 622 1A

Dear all,
we (in the German forum) found an inconsistency in the Wiki (ok, there are many…) regarding this traffic sign:

Example 7 on the “conditional” page in the Wiki says it refers to the actual weight of the vehicle and has to be tagged as “maxweight”

Example 5 on the “maxweight” page says it refers to the maximum allowed weight of the vehicle, not taking into account if it’s loaded or not and has to be tagged as “maxweightrating”

Could you clarify which one is correct?

According to this it is gross weight, or, more accurately plated weight (the design maximum weight specified by the manufacturer). I find it difficult to see how any other reading might make sense.

Furthermore all UK mappers will use maxweight for this: the wiki is clearly wrong. I suspect it is for the Irish sign too. Someone has been overthinking this. A vehicle exceeding its design load is illegal. These maxweight plates usually have an exception for destinations, and precise tagging will use conditional terms.

Note that in older UK parlance HGV meant a vehicle over 7.5 t, whereas now it is 3.5t : my driving licence allows me to drive vehicles up to a laden weight of 7.5t (not that I’d want to) as it was issued before 1996. Prior to that point an HGV licence was for heavier vehicles. This did allow a person with an ordinary licence to drive a double decker bus (such as the classic London Routemaster).

Which page in the Wiki?
If I understand your description correctly, “maxweightrating” is the correct tag for this.

In Germany we have the same situation, there are signs limiting the weight of vehicles, and there are signs banning certain vehicles based on their total allowed weight (plated weight, as your document defines it). In the thread we came to the conclusion that these are represented by maxweight and maxweightrating, respectively.
It seems, this is the identical situation in the UK?

No that is a really bad way of going about things, and involves overthinking things.

Changing the meaning of a tag which has been in use for 15 years and has many thousands of instance of usage is never a good thing. A new tag should be used for the actual physical limit (but see below, as >99% of all weight limits in UK are plated weight limits.).

Maxweight has always referred to the plated weight not the actual weight of the vehicle & its load at any one time: the latter would be an absolute nightmare for enforcement. The vast majority of road signs refer to this category. The reasons for weight restrictions are in general not to limit vehicles because the road infrastructure is incapable of supporting them (other wise the except for access would be meaningless), but to: a) reduce inconvenience to people who live along the road; b) discourage large vehicles from using roads which may be very narrow; c) limit noise; d) limit damage from heavier vehicles on roads which are scheduled for low intensity maintenance; e) pollution control; f) pedestrian safety; g) congestion management. Officially these are “environmental limits”.

Actual physical weight limits are much rarer, usually allow more breakpoints than the typical ones (3.5 & 7.5t) and are usually explicitly signed on the part of the road with limited weight bearing capacity. Officially, these are called “structural weightlimits” and the official signage is described here on page 53 (section 5.14) and allows a broader range of **plated **weights to be used, but can be used with a proviso exception of “when empty”, but no others. Therefore this latter is best tagged as a conditional maxweight. The manual explains the rationale behind this: using plated weight simplifies enforcement as otherwise any vehicle suspected of infringing the limit would need to be taken to a government certified weighbridge to prove that it was breaking the law.

In this case the situation in the UK is opposite to ours - in Germany (and other continental countries I know of), most signs refer to the actual weight. Almost all signs that show a weight refer to the actual weight (to limit the stress on infrastructure), with very few exceptions.

For us, using maxweight as “plated weight” and using maxweight:conditional for the actual weight would be what you call “a really bad way of going about things” and would require thousands objects to be retagged.

The tag ‘maxweightrating’ is not a new one. It was proposed in 2013 and is in use since at least 2014 and has about 3000 uses right now, including some in the UK.

Seems like we won’t find an easy solution here to get things in OSM coherent between countries (like in so many other cases).

Would you agree on adding a comment to the Wiki of maxspeed and this example stating something along these lines?
“common understanding in the UK is that this is tagged as maxweight, but according to use in other countries can be tagged as maxweightrating”