A Round of App-lause For Sustrans and Free iPhone Tech.

Any time, any place, anywhere...that's the new Sustrans app.

by Lara Dunn   May 11, 2011  

NCN App on iphone.JPG

Sustrans has come over all Martini with its new 'Complete National Cycle Network' app, giving access to over 25,000 miles of route no matter where you are or what you're doing. 

Free to download from iTunes soon, the app will include all 13,000 miles of National Cycle Network and a further 12,000 miles of regional and local routes and links. It's designed to be useful to those on bike or on foot,  whether you're commuting in a city, bimbling around the countryside or just trying to find a traffic-free route from A to B. 

Routes, based on OS mapping, are shown at 1:10,000 scale, and the app integrates with the public transport network and provides links to the Transport Direct journey planning website, making it easier to get train and bus updates from any location. 

Route developments will be updated fortnightly, and there's the facility to plan routes and save or share them, as well as GPS tracking as you walk or ride. It'll even tell you where the nearest tea shop is, or LBS, or police station....

Martyn Brunty, Sustrans' Development Manager for the Network, says "Whether it's getting around locally, finding your nearest bus stop or supermarket, a safer route to school, or looking for places to go, this is as invaluable everyday tool that anyone can use. The high standards Sustrans has applied in developing the National Cycle Network mean it shows the best routes for walking and cycling across the UK, and the level of local detail, no matter where you are, makes it a great 'go-to' app for local knowledge, everyday travel or leisure."

The app will only be available for iPhone, but Sustrans' online mapping facility is being improved for Android users at the same time, and there are hopes that a version for Android will become available in the future. 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Utter stupidity. OS coverage of the sustrans network is worse than openstreetmap.org, transport direct's planner is worse than cyclestreets.net and it's iPhone only. More phones can use Mobile Trail Explorer or other apps listed on openstreetmap.org - why are sustrans wasting their money instead of collaborating with other not-for-profits?

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
11th May 2011 - 16:31


So is this meant to replace or supplement their rather expensive paper maps? I see they have some reasonable maps online now, I assume the app is a replication of those, which are not at all bad.

posted by amazon22 [202 posts]
11th May 2011 - 16:35


Openstreetmap.org coverage where I live (less than 30 miles from a major city) is unuseable so I hardly see why using OS coverage is stupid. If you can't see how to get to a route, you're hardly going to use it...

posted by Gordon Watt [8 posts]
12th May 2011 - 8:24


I would be pretty surprised if OSM isn't better than OS on average. If you can't see there's a route to get to, you're hardly going to use it either!

I can't speak for Aberdeenshire, but looking around Sustrans's home in the Bristol area, OS shows routes 3 and 41, but is missing large parts of the 33 and 334 once you get out into the rural area beyond Long Ashton. OS shows what I think is an old route for some of the 4 in the city and doesn't show the regional routes or recent additions like the 254 at all. They all appear to be on OSM.

Also, you can help to complete OSM just by switching on the tracking feature in software like Mobile Trail Explorer and uploading your journeys. Maybe some kind person in Aberdeenshire could do that? Wink

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
12th May 2011 - 9:54


Dear a.jumper, you might want to read the article again. I think the idea is that Sustrans are using their own route data, laid over the OS background. I imagine that Sustrans have a pretty good idea of where their routes go as you can see here: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/map?searchKey=bristol&searchType=search&Searc...

OS maps have a lot of detail in the more rural areas of the country that OSM doesn't yet show.

OSM is obviously a brilliant thing and something that I think Sustrans has supported in the past, but it's not yet finished and to argue that everyone else should stop doing things until it is is ridiculous.


posted by mada [2 posts]
12th May 2011 - 10:28


Works on my phone.. and its not an iPhone. And it shows the local Sustrans routes. Not had a chance to check them by riding them yet, but at a glance seem to be accurate enough.

Of course, my android phone's battery is not really up to the job. I'd be lost without my New Trent Extreme external battery pack because the app will drain the phone's in just a couple of hours.


posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
12th May 2011 - 19:46

1 Like

Battery working time is a big issue,with all phones,not just android OS actually. Day Dreaming

ulefone on RD1404, RD1404 on my way

posted by daborrelli [5 posts]
25th August 2014 - 13:57

1 Like