Ordnance Survey sets out road map for Britain

Ordnance Survey (OS) has created the ultimate and authoritative road and transport management product, OS MasterMap Highways Network, to support street works planning and notification, and to help professionals make informed decisions with asset management and route planning. In one single data source, OS now provides the essential facts about the physical dimensions, accessibility and ownership of roads and paths, and who is responsible for maintaining them.

This includes current and future roads under construction, and a complete turn-by-turn, navigable road network of Great Britain. This has been achieved by enhancing and integrating Ordnance Survey’s high quality and accurate road network with expert external data provided by 174 Local Highway Authorities, gathered and quality assured by GeoPlace LLP (a partnership between the Local Government Association and OS).

The detail rich product is the result of a £3m investment by The Department for Transport (DFT), made in 2014, for OS to develop the road and transport information that will help improve planning and maintenance, and ensure traffic in Britain keeps moving efficiently and safely.

road map
Roads Minister, Andrew Jones MP and OS Product Manager Mark Le Page

Roads Minister, Andrew Jones MP said: “This new and innovative digital map will help local authorities and utilities companies better plan how to route traffic and keep it moving during roadworks, minimising disruption and cutting unnecessary delays to motorists. The Government has contributed £3 million for its development and this is on top of our existing £23 billion commitment to improving our road network, which will help make journeys safer, better and quicker.”

To create the product, OS consulted with organisations from across the public sector and with utility companies.  Mark Le Page, Products Manger at OS, explains: “The aim of our collaboration with the public sector and utilities has been to simplify their lives with a complete picture. To help them increase their productivity and profitability, and to drive their efficiencies through better decision making made on the back of one single source for current and accurate data that is relevant to their needs. Having this information in one package should also reduce their costs associated with maintaining multiple datasets.

Le Page continues: “OS MasterMap Highways Network has many uses. For instance, it can help emergency services find the most effective routes when responding to 999 calls. It enables utility companies to reduce costs by allowing them to plan their road operations at a desk, reducing the number of onsite surveys they currently make, and helping them overall to minimise any disruption to traffic flow caused by their works. The data can also be used as part of route planning, and in terms of logistics, haulage and delivery firms, having all of this up-to-date information at their fingertips will help them make more informed and accurate decisions.”

The key benefits of OS MasterMap Highways Network are:

  • Accurate and precise road geometry. The ability to fully understand the road network with the most detailed and accurate road data in Great Britain. Full geometry and connectivity for use in routing software solutions and in preparation for the telematics requirements for driverless cars.
  • Frequently updated using authoritative data sources from OS, the National Street Gazetteer (NSG) for England and Wales managed by GeoPlace LLP, and Highways England. Includes road network geometry and road routing information, Local Highways Authorities road names, numbering and maintenance responsibility information, as well as additional street data and the Highways Agency Strategic Road Network – the Trunk Road Street Gazetteer.
  • References and links to OS AddressBase products. Includes Unique Street Record Number (USRN) from the NSG that links easily to OS AddressBase products. This provides the capability to search for or navigate to an address or addresses along a road. Being able to work with the most comprehensive address dataset in GB will help improve consultation with residents when planning road works and the ability to identify essential assets along the network.
  • Conforms to defined geospatial standards (INSPIRE transport model and BS7666) meaning customers can more easily set up their GIS systems and software and conform to open standards. A reduction in costs associated with maintaining multiple datasets, efficiency, accuracy and communication.

The key features are:

  • Road Routing Information – direction of travel, access restrictions, road closures, width, weight restrictions.
  • Physical road information – maintenance responsibility, official name and number, access points, motorway junctions.
  • Updated every 4 weeks.
  • Essential DFT information; road classification number, trunk road attribute, line length attribute.
  • Road name, road type e.g. motorway, A, B, C and minor.
  • Linked to the address.
  • Road and path networks.
  • Bridges and tunnels.

Website Ordnance Survey


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