CycleStreets Goes LIVE!

Posted by chdot on March 23, 2009

Cambridge cycle campaigners Martin (front) and Simon have every reason to look pleased with themselves!

They have just pressed the button to remove the password protection on The pair were also responsible for the seminal Cycle Journey Planner in Cambridge produced because of their computer programming skills and active involvement in the Cambridge Cycle Campaign.

Over a year ago the idea of a similar CJP for Edinburgh was raised with the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Transport section. A fairly small sum of money (not the mega-millions spent on some UK Government computer projects!) was found to make this happen.

Originally a public website was planned for September, but computer projects usually overrun… This time it was for a good reason. It was realised that, with a bit of extra time and effort, A Cycle Journey Planner to cover the whole of the UK would be possible.

You can’t plan a route from Land’s End to John o’Groats – the main purpose of CycleStreets is to encourage more local journeys by bike (or on foot). At present the maximum distance is 30 km (as the crow flies).

The Planner gives a choice of route – shortest, fastest, (which are often the same – though as the software was developed in Cambridge, which is essentially flat, hills are not accounted for – yet…), and “quietest”.

The accuracy of this depends on the quality of Open Street Map data. As soon as you start using CycleStreets you will notice familiar urban streets are sometimes marked as “quiet country road”! The good news is that anyone can improve the OSM info.

Why not plan a route using and consider adding improvements to the Open Street Map.

If you are not sure where your planned route goes you can even “fly through” in Google Earth!

NOTE CycleStreets is currently “beta” – still some bugs to be found and squeezed. Simon and Martin are wanting cyclists to send them feedback about any problems using the button at the top of all pages.

4 Responses to “CycleStreets Goes LIVE!”

  1. jacquiephelan said

    Pure dead brilliant.
    Have “flown through” the quiet route to Portobello Promenade…most impressive.
    I guess this might mean I don’t actually HAVE to come back to Scotland…a sad little thought.

  2. Eric said

    I’ve just planned my usual journeys round Edinburgh, and it was spot on every time, both with the fast route and a quiet alternative. The fact that only open-source map data is used makes is especially impressive. Well done!

  3. chdot said


    most of the praise goes to the two people in Cambridge PLUS countless others who keep adding to the OSM dat (perhaps you have too?)

    I know Edinburgh pretty well and am refreshingly surprised at a) the suggested routes and b) the subtle variations it suggests that I don’t usually use – some are quite ‘smart’

    There is one suggestion that I avoid because it involves cobbles – but it’s a close call.

    Cobbles (and hills) will be factored-in sometime – this is at least as much an OSM issue as a CycleStreets one.

    The developers are genuinely keen to get feedback on routes (button at top of CS pages)

    I presume you realise that each planned route has its own URL – so you can pass ‘suggested routes’ to your friends…

  4. Chris: Make sure that all the cobbled streets have the tag surface=cobblestone, then once the data is in OpenStreetMap, CycleStreets can start taking the surface tag into account.

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