Protocol on displaying unbuilt roads on OS maps and apps

The request was successful.

Dear Ordnance Survey Limited,

On 12th August 2013, I received a response from Ordnance Survey on FO113398 - reproduced below. This referred to a long-standing protocol between OS and relevant Highway Authorities.

Please provide me with any changes to the information previously provided in August 2013.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Boswell

===========================

Dear Mr Boswell

Request for information – FOI13398

Thank you for your e-mail of 25th July 2013, requesting the following information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

The information that I am requesting is how Ordnance Survey assess the information that it has on "roads in construction", be it from HA or local authorities, to make sure that it is reliable and meets quality control criteria before going into production version maps and data. I assumed that there would be a quality control process, and that information on that would answer a set of questions like the ones I pose above, (omitted from this response) without my having to enumerate lots of different possible cases and questions.

Ordnance Survey does not hold information detailing how we assess the information we have on roads in construction in a recorded format, and is therefore unable to provide actual documentation to respond to this Freedom of Information request.

However, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act ‘the duty to provide advice and assistance’ we are able provide the following information/guidance with regard to the issue, which is the accepted custom and practice in this instance.

Since you have specifically requested information on the “verification procedure” we are able to state that Ordnance Survey’s process with regard verifying planned routes for inclusion on our maps is one of regular dialogue with the relevant Highway Authority. This seeks to ensure that the information which they have provided is related to a proposal which has a strong degree of substance, in terms of the development of the proposal within the Highway Authority.

There is also a long-standing protocol that proposals will only be provided to Ordnance Survey by the relevant Highway Authority if they have appropriate substance, since the authority carries the responsibility for the alignment shown, in the same way that they are responsible for the alignment of the Public Rights of Way which we publish on our medium scales maps.

Ordnance Survey has no direct role in the planning and design of new or altered roads. While Ordnance Survey mapping may be used as a base map by those responsible for planning and designing new and altered roads, these roles are the responsibility of the Department of Transport, The Highways Agency, The Local Authority acting as Highway Authority and their contractors, and their devolved equivalents in Scotland and Wales. In these cases the Ordnance Survey map serves solely to provide geographic context for the information which the planning or design authority is wishing to convey to others.

Where planned major routes (motorways, A and B roads) are shown by Ordnance Survey these are shown only on medium and small scales maps, and serve solely as an indication of an intention as published by the relevant highway authority. The decision to publish, results from notification to Ordnance Survey by the relevant highway authority of their firm proposal to construct a road broadly along the alignment shown. The alignment used by Ordnance Survey is that provided to us by the relevant highway authority, usually as overlays of information on an Ordnance Survey map base of an appropriate scale. These submitted plans and documents are retained by Ordnance Survey as a record of the information provided to us by each highway authority.

Hence, if Ordnance Survey is provided with information on a proposed alignment, based upon this dialogue and assurance, then, assuming that the alignment is of sufficient length to be significant to the map in question, there is a presumption to publish since Ordnance Survey has no reason to gainsay the evidence of a responsible authority. This presumption on publication is subject to ensuring that existing map detail is not compromised or obscured by the addition of the proposed alignment.

The alignments shown are included solely as additional information to aid the map user, but at a resolution which seeks to convey an indication of the planned intention, rather than to define a precise alignment which is yet to be set out in detail on the ground. As Ordnance Survey has no role in the planning or determining of the alignment of as-yet un-built roads, it must take the information provided by the relevant Highway Authority at face value and in good faith. It is not within Ordnance Survey’s remit to question or seek to adjust such alignments, and indeed Ordnance Survey does not any basis for proposing adjusted or alternative alignments. Where appropriate, the intended dates of opening of completed new roads are included, as ancillary information, on the map.

Since Ordnance Survey has regular contact with Highway Authorities, it is normal for progress of planned road developments to be checked and confirmed on a regular basis. This may result in the removal of a planned alignment if the scheme has been abandoned, or a revision to the intended date of opening, if a scheme has been delayed.

Where third party publishers operate as licensed partners of Ordnance Survey they may use proposed alignments already included on the Ordnance Survey source mapping they use for their products, but they may also choose to liaise directly with the various Highway Authorities, if this meets their commercial needs. Licensed Partners of Ordnance Survey including those who are map publishers have access to Ordnance Survey’s latest available information, including under programmes of regular refresh of the data they hold.

Where a road is physically under construction, then the general alignment of the centre-line of work in progress can be portrayed on medium and small scales maps using field or aerial survey methods appropriate to the scale of the mapping. Since at this stage the alignment is shown as an indicative position, subject to final completion, again the need for quality assurance is limited to ensuring the correctness of transposition of the alignment onto the existing map – a process which forms a standard part of Ordnance Survey cartography.

With regard to detailed large scales mapping, Ordnance Survey has a number of methods for acquiring knowledge of roads which are under construction, in order to plan the precise survey of the completed alignment into the National Geographical Database. Knowledge that change is taking place is gleaned from visual evidence of ground works noted by our surveyors, or through inspection of aerial imagery, and also from monitoring public communications by Department for Transport, The Highways Agency, and their devolved equivalents in Scotland and Wales, and from Local Authorities, where these bodies are the responsible Highway Authority.

Once change in the form of new or altered roads is at a stage where survey is possible, Ordnance Survey acquires the data through surveys on the ground or by photogrammetric means (i.e.: mapping from high resolution aerial images). In rural areas some road changes are captured photogrammetrically by Ordnance Survey contractors working to agreed standards and methods as part of cyclic rural revision. Where Ordnance Survey captures the geometry of a new road alignment itself, or through its contractors, established quality assurance and quality control procedures are applied within the data capture flowlines, either to quality assure and accredit the work practices used by the surveyor or supplier, or else to quality control the specific work undertaken. Similarly, on those infrequent occasions when ‘as-built’ information on newly constructed roads is acquired by Ordnance Survey from third parties such as Civil Engineers or the Highway Authority, standard quality assurance processes are put in place to validate the work.

Once the geometry is captured into the Ordnance Survey database, supplementary attribution is gathered as follows:

· Road names – by visual inspection of road name tablets, or on the formal advice of the Highway authority as street naming authority;

· Road classification letters and numbers – by reference to The Department of Transport or devolved equivalent bodies who are the responsible authority for classifying and numbering roads and whose advice Ordnance Survey accepts since they are responsible for the definition of these matters;

· Height, weight, width and traffic control information – by reference to visual signage displays by the roadside and by reference to the relevant highway authority, who are variously responsible for establishing such restrictions. Ordnance Survey accepts the advice of these authorities as it has no jurisdiction on the definition of these matters.

Internal Review
Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
Southampton
SO16 0AS

E-mail: [email address]

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
Failed to provide the information you have requested
Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception
The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

E-mail: [email address]

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.

Yours sincerely

Julie Sellers

Corporate Governance Manager, Ordnance Survey
L1F4, Explorer House, Adanac Drive, SOUTHAMPTON, SO16 0AS
Phone: +44 (0) 8456 05 05 05
www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk | [email address]| [email address]

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FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

Thank you for your email.
The office is currently closed for the Christmas period from 24 December
2021 and we will re-open again on 4 January 2022.
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sender.

OS email communications may be monitored to ensure the secure and
effective operation of our systems and for other lawful purposes. Subject
to contract: No rights are to be derived from any proposal contained in
this email until a written agreement containing all necessary terms is
executed between the relevant parties.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
[1]http://www.os.uk

References

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FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Boswell,

                                                                                                        

Thank you for your email of 29/12/2021.

As your request was received by Ordnance Survey on 29/12/2021, we will
provide you with a response within 20 working days, as required by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, therefore by 27/01/2022.

The delay in acknowledging receipt of your request is due to the office
being closed over the Christmas period.

 

In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary for Ordnance Survey to
extend this date to consider a complex public interest argument if
engaging a qualified exemption.  In such cases we will notify you of the
revised date by which we would expect to provide a response.

Should you need to contact Ordnance Survey regarding your request at any
time, please quote the allocated reference number in your correspondence.

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Elizabeth Cole

Freedom of Information Officer, Legal Services

 

Adanac Drive, Southampton, United Kingdom, SO16 0AS

T: +44 (0)3456 05 05 05

[1]www.os.uk | [2][Ordnance Survey Limited request email]

Follow us: [3]Twitter | [4]LinkedIn | [5]YouTube | [6]Instagram |
[7]Facebook

Our values are: Think Customer | Thrive Together | Stay Ahead | Seize the
Moment

 

This email and any attachments are intended only for the intended
recipient and may contain sensitive information. If you are not the
intended recipient, please immediately delete this email and inform the
sender.

OS email communications may be monitored to ensure the secure and
effective operation of our systems and for other lawful purposes. Subject
to contract: No rights are to be derived from any proposal contained in
this email until a written agreement containing all necessary terms is
executed between the relevant parties.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
[8]http://www.os.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.os.uk/
2. mailto:[Ordnance Survey Limited request email]
3. https://twitter.com/OrdnanceSurvey
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/ordnanc...
5. https://www.youtube.com/user/OSMapping?b...
6. https://www.instagram.com/ordnancesurvey...
7. https://www.facebook.com/osmapping/
8. http://www.os.uk/

FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Boswell,

 

Thank you for your email of 29 December 2022, requesting information from
Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
2000, as set out in the extract below:

 

“On 12th August 2013, I received a response from Ordnance Survey on
FO113398 - reproduced below.  This referred to a long-standing protocol
between OS and relevant Highway Authorities.

 

Please provide me with any changes to the information previously provided
in August 2013.

 

===========================

 

Request for information – FOI13398

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 25th July 2013, requesting the following
information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

 

The information that I am requesting is how Ordnance Survey assess the
information that it has on "roads in construction", be it from HA or local
authorities, to make sure that it is reliable and meets quality control
criteria before going into production version maps and data.  I assumed
that there would be a quality control process, and that information on
that would answer a set of questions like the ones I pose above, (omitted
from this response) without my having to enumerate lots of different
possible cases and questions.

 

Ordnance Survey does not hold information detailing how we assess the
information we have on roads in construction in a recorded format, and is
therefore unable to provide actual documentation to respond to this
Freedom of Information request.

 

However, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act ‘the duty to
provide advice and assistance’ we are able provide the following
information/guidance with regard to the issue, which is the accepted
custom and practice in this instance.

 

Since you have specifically requested information on the “verification
procedure”  we are able to state that Ordnance Survey’s process with
regard verifying planned routes for inclusion on our maps is one of
regular dialogue with the relevant Highway Authority.  This seeks to
ensure that the information which they have provided is related to a
proposal which has a strong degree of substance, in terms of the
development of the proposal within the Highway Authority.

 

There is also a long-standing protocol that proposals will only be
provided to Ordnance Survey by the relevant Highway Authority if they have
appropriate substance, since the authority carries the responsibility for
the alignment shown, in the same way that they are responsible for the
alignment of the Public Rights of Way which we publish on our medium
scales maps.

 

Ordnance Survey has no direct role in the planning and design of new or
altered roads.  While Ordnance Survey mapping may be used as a base map by
those responsible for planning and designing new and altered roads, these
roles are the responsibility of the Department of Transport, The Highways
Agency, The Local Authority acting as Highway Authority and their
contractors, and their devolved equivalents in Scotland and Wales.  In
these cases the Ordnance Survey map serves solely to provide geographic
context for the information which the planning or design authority is
wishing to convey to others.

 

Where planned major routes (motorways, A and B roads) are shown by
Ordnance Survey these are shown only on medium and small scales maps, and
serve solely as an indication of an intention as published by the relevant
highway authority.  The decision to publish, results from notification to
Ordnance Survey by the relevant highway authority of their firm proposal
to construct a road broadly along the alignment shown.   The alignment
used by Ordnance Survey is that provided to us by the relevant highway
authority, usually as overlays of information on an Ordnance Survey map
base of an appropriate scale.  These submitted plans and documents are
retained by Ordnance Survey as a record of the information provided to us
by each highway authority.

 

Hence, if Ordnance Survey is provided with information on a proposed
alignment, based upon this dialogue and assurance, then, assuming that the
alignment is of sufficient length to be significant to the map in
question, there is a presumption to publish since Ordnance Survey has no
reason to gainsay the evidence of a responsible authority.  This
presumption on publication is subject to ensuring that existing map detail
is not compromised or obscured by the addition of the proposed alignment.

 

The alignments shown are included solely as additional information to aid
the map user, but at a resolution which seeks to convey an indication of
the planned intention, rather than to define a precise alignment which is
yet to be set out in detail on the ground.   As Ordnance Survey has no
role in the planning or determining of the alignment of as-yet un-built
roads, it must take the information provided by the relevant Highway
Authority at face value and in good faith.  It is not within Ordnance
Survey’s remit to question or seek to adjust such alignments, and indeed
Ordnance Survey does not any basis for proposing adjusted or alternative
alignments.  Where appropriate, the intended dates of opening of completed
new roads are included, as ancillary information, on the map.

 

Since Ordnance Survey has regular contact with Highway Authorities, it is
normal for progress of planned road developments to be checked and
confirmed on a regular basis.  This may result in the removal of a planned
alignment if the scheme has been abandoned, or a revision to the intended
date of opening, if a scheme has been delayed.

 

Where third party publishers operate as licensed partners of Ordnance
Survey they may use proposed alignments already included on the Ordnance
Survey source mapping they use for their products, but they may also
choose to liaise directly with the various Highway Authorities, if this
meets their commercial needs.  Licensed Partners of Ordnance Survey
including those who are map publishers have access to Ordnance Survey’s
latest available information, including under programmes of regular
refresh of the data they hold.

 

Where a road is physically under construction, then the general alignment
of the centre-line of work in progress can be portrayed on medium and
small scales maps using field or aerial survey methods appropriate to the
scale of the mapping.  Since at this stage the alignment is shown as an
indicative position, subject to final completion, again the need for
quality assurance is limited to ensuring the correctness of transposition
of the alignment onto the existing map – a process which forms a standard
part of Ordnance Survey cartography.

 

With regard to detailed large scales mapping, Ordnance Survey has a number
of methods for acquiring knowledge of roads which are under construction,
in order to plan the precise survey of the completed alignment into the
National Geographical Database.  Knowledge that change is taking place is
gleaned from visual evidence of ground works noted by our surveyors, or
through inspection of aerial imagery, and also from monitoring public
communications by Department for Transport, The Highways Agency, and their
devolved equivalents in Scotland and Wales, and from Local Authorities,
where these bodies are the responsible Highway Authority.

 

Once change in the form of new or altered roads is at a stage where survey
is possible, Ordnance Survey acquires the data through surveys on the
ground or by photogrammetric means (i.e.: mapping from high resolution
aerial images).  In rural areas some road changes are captured
photogrammetrically by Ordnance Survey contractors working to agreed
standards and methods as part of cyclic rural revision.    Where Ordnance
Survey captures the geometry of a new road alignment itself, or through
its contractors, established quality assurance and quality control
procedures are applied within the data capture flowlines, either to
quality assure and accredit the work practices used by the surveyor or
supplier, or else to quality control the specific work undertaken. 
Similarly, on those infrequent occasions when ‘as-built’ information on
newly constructed roads is acquired by Ordnance Survey from third parties
such as Civil Engineers or the Highway Authority, standard quality
assurance processes are put in place to validate the work.

 

Once the geometry is captured into the Ordnance Survey database,
supplementary attribution is gathered as follows:

 

·             Road names – by visual inspection of road name tablets, or
on the formal advice of the Highway authority as street naming authority;

 

·             Road classification letters and numbers – by reference to
The Department of Transport or devolved equivalent bodies who are the
responsible authority for classifying and numbering roads and whose advice
Ordnance Survey accepts since they are responsible for the definition of
these matters;

 

·             Height, weight, width and traffic control information – by
reference to visual signage displays by the roadside and by reference to
the relevant highway authority, who are variously responsible for
establishing such restrictions.  Ordnance Survey accepts the advice of
these authorities as it has no jurisdiction on the definition of these
matters.”

 

 

I confirm that there have been no changes to the detailed advice and
assistance provided to you in 2013 under reference FOI13398, as set out
above.  This details the long-standing protocol between OS and relevant
Highway Authorities, this is used as change intelligence for OS to plan
the capture of changes to roads that are planned or are under construction
into the database which holds our topographic data.   The only OS product
that shows the alignments of proposed roads is the 1:250,000 raster.

 

 

Internal Review
Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) 2000 .  If you are unhappy with our response, you may request
an internal review with our Internal Review Officer by contacting them,
within 40 working days of receipt of our final response to your FOI
request, as follows:

Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
Southampton
SO16 0AS

E-mail: [1][Ordnance Survey Limited request email]

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal
review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

o Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20
working days)
o Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
o Failed to provide the information you have requested
o Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
o Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

 

The Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the
original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and
will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working
days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the
Information Commissioner’s guidance. 

The Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision,
provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release
further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with
our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s
Office.

Further information can be found on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) or you
may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Elizabeth Cole

Freedom of Information Officer, Legal Services

 

Adanac Drive, Southampton, United Kingdom, SO16 0AS

T: +44 (0)3456 05 05 05

[2]www.os.uk | [3][Ordnance Survey Limited request email]

Follow us: [4]Twitter | [5]LinkedIn | [6]YouTube | [7]Instagram |
[8]Facebook

Our values are: Think Customer | Thrive Together | Stay Ahead | Seize the
Moment

 

This email and any attachments are intended only for the intended
recipient and may contain sensitive information. If you are not the
intended recipient, please immediately delete this email and inform the
sender.

OS email communications may be monitored to ensure the secure and
effective operation of our systems and for other lawful purposes. Subject
to contract: No rights are to be derived from any proposal contained in
this email until a written agreement containing all necessary terms is
executed between the relevant parties.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
[9]http://www.os.uk

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ordnance Survey Limited request email]
2. http://www.os.uk/
3. mailto:[Ordnance Survey Limited request email]
4. https://twitter.com/OrdnanceSurvey
5. https://www.linkedin.com/company/ordnanc...
6. https://www.youtube.com/user/OSMapping?b...
7. https://www.instagram.com/ordnancesurvey...
8. https://www.facebook.com/osmapping/
9. http://www.os.uk/

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Boswell