Updating NaPTAN points (Scottish Borders Council area of Scotland)

Hello OpenStreetMap Community Forum,

I work in Passenger Transport at Scottish Borders Council. One part of my role is maintaining the NaPTAN (National Public Transport Access Nodes) database for all bus stops in the Scottish Borders Council area of southern Scotland.

Some of our bus operators in the Scottish Borders use OpenStreetMap data for their timetabling on their website, and I have found that the OSM data is occasionally incorrect, likely out of date. In some cases it’s as simple as the name of the bus stop has changed, in other cases it’s showing bus stops which are no longer there.

Having never used or edited OSM before, I am wondering if someone can advise me: 1- if I can update the NaPTAN information on OSM; and 2- how I would do that if it is possible. Ideally, I’d prefer to update by a bulk upload of the XML data shared with the UK Department for Transport, rather than having to individually change the stops I have been altering in the NaPTAN data.

Many thanks,
Passenger Transport
Scottish Borders Council

1 Like

If I remember correctly the NaPTAN status of del just means not currently active, rather than that it definitely no longer exists, so I’m not sure you can tell that the bus stops no longer exist from the NaPTAN data alone.

I used to have an application that I wrote that compared stop data to NaPTAN data and listed any differences. I’ve just tried it and it doesn’t currently work (the NaPTAN download has changed since I last used it in 2020), but it is what would really help here as you’d see what needs checking. An example using the data that last worked:

I started rewriting the application from scratch (which was a mistake). Downloading the route data has changed a couple of times too. I might see if I can amend the old code to get the Stops tab working again, if it might help?

Hi Ed,

In my example of showing a stop which is no longer there, I mean the stop is physically no longer there.

As I am the one who controls the NaPTAN data for the Scottish Borders Council area, I am looking for a way that I can share those data updates onto OSM without having to manually update each bus stop as I make changes.

Passenger Transport
Scottish Borders Council

Regarding NaPTAN updates - it looks like the original NaPTAN import for the Scottish borders was here. Quite a few of those have not been edited since that import. In the specific case where a bus stop hasn’t been updated since an import of 15-year-old NaPTAN data, and you’ve got newer data, then I don’t think that anyone would object if you updated it with newer NaPTAN data.

In the case where stops have been edited since, where there’s a discrepancy between “what is in OSM now” and “what is in NaPTAN” will need to be treated on a case by case basis. If OSM was updated in 2016 but NaPTAN says that the stop is no longer used from 2018, then I’d say an update makes sense. With more recent updates, it can get complicated (I can think of at least one example where the stop location in all data that I can find is wrong, but the bus drivers and passengers “know” where the bus stops, and so find each other without problems).

Thanks - does that mean “no buses stop there any more but there is still a pole” or “the bus stop pole - if there was one - has been physically removed”?

In the case of the former I’d update the OSM data so that the previous highway=bus_stop tag is changed to disused=highway=bus_stop. In the case of the latter, and where there never was a physical marker (e.g. lots of “CUS” stops in the NaPTAN data) I’d probably delete it, or set removed:highway=bus_stop

An example of the former that I’m familiar with is here - route changes following a shopping centre revamp meant that nothing stops there. An example of the latter is here.

This sounds like exactly what I would prefer to do, update the NaPTAN data on OSM as I’m updating it with DfT so that the NaPTAN data on OSM is current and matches DfT. How do I go about doing an import of current NaPTAN data to OSM?

In that case, I mean the bus stop pole and/or any other infrastructure eg. shelter, road markings (if there was any) has been removed entirely.

The general process is here, but to be clear the import of NaPTAN data in the UK was approved many years ago so you don’t need to go through all of that again. See also this wiki page and also this one. Also see here and here for a more recent update in Aberdeen that sounds very like what you are suggesting. Specifically this section explains how the reconciliation was done in Aberdeen using standard OSM tools.

I’m sure that people who’ve done this sort of thing before would love to help - there’s an OSM UK online chat on Monday that you might be interested in.

I can see I have a lot of reading to do! It also sounds like it’s not just as simple as uploading the data to OSM, it sounds like a much more convoluted process. Certainly for cases where I’m only updating one or two stops, manually updating them in OSM might be the best way.

Unfortunately the online chat clashes with another commitment I have - Monday nights are the one night in the week I am not free.

1 Like

It’s nice to see a local authority interested. If you’re not too far from Edinburgh, you could come to our pub meetup, we meet on the third Tuesday of the month (next one on 16 July), we move around but often it’s at the Guildford Arms, close to Waverley. If you can’t make it but you want to meet the local community we can probably work something else out.

1 Like