New website helps all levels of cyclists make more of Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme

A new route planning website – Londoncyclehire.org – has been launched to coincide with the arrival of the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme in London.

Martin Lucas-Smith, developer of the site, said: “Many people don’t know good routes in London. Simply by logging on, people can plan routes before they leave, get an estimated time for the journey, get a choice of faster or quieter routes, as well as check out StreetView images of each part of the route.”

To plan a journey, click a start and end point, or search for locations/postcodes, and click ‘Plan journey’.

The website is an initiative of CycleStreets, the UK-wide cycle journey planner, which provides cycle routing all over the UK. Created by a not-for-profit group, the system gives the fastest, quietest, and ‘balanced’ routes, to cater for all kinds of cyclists. It also takes account of hills, traffic lights, one-way streets, and many other aspects.

CycleStreets’ ‘routemaster’ Simon Nuttall said, “We've been banging on about how great it is to be able to cycle around cities for years. We built our cycle journey planner to share our knowledge of the best ways to get around. There's never been a time when this has been needed more – just as London is going to get a whole new fleet of riders. Plan your route across the city, add photos of your experience and feedback so that we can improve the suggested route – it’s a virtuous cycle!

“When you climb on your new hire bike for the first time, you'll be climbing on a new transport system and, as with any other new system, you'll need a guide. Our journey planner uses the knowledge gathered from London's cyclists to help you choose which way to go.”

CycleStreets routing is also being used by several new mobile phone apps, including cyclehireapp.com, the forthcoming Bike Hub app, TrackMyJourney, and CycleStreets’ own app, due to be released in August.

The routing data comes from OpenStreetMap, a project similar to Wikipedia. Much of the data is collected by volunteer cyclists on the ground, with an ever-growing amount of detail. CycleStreets imports the new data each week, making it always up-to-date.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc).