Transport for London website - cycling section boo!

Niblox

Well-Known Member
Location
Edinburgh
Hi all

Some of you may have cycled in London. In the last year I have cycled there on three occasions and to my surprise, it was not the horror that I thought it would be.

Part of the reason for my enjoyment was that there is a website called "Transport for London" which has a cycling section, which up to a few weeks ago, would allow you to use an interactive map to get from A to B using quiet back streets and cycle paths. This could be downloaded as a PDF file. A longish route necessitated a number of A4 pages (the longer the more pages) but it was really helpful and made for a very easy trip. The route was marked as a continuous line on the relevant streets and was really easy to follow.

Imagine my consternation when, last Saturday, I went to the same website to get a route map between central London and Greenwich and found that all it would give me was a single map of the entire route on half a page of A4, and a list of the streets and roads I had to follow. I tried to follow this route but I got lost on at least two occasions and without my London A-Z it would have been a lot worse. It took me two hours to travel 8 miles, because I had to stop constantly to check the route. The problem was that the list of streets was not completely continuous - on one occasion I ended going up the right street but in the wrong direction. Anyone who has ever used an A-Z map will know how tiny the print is on the maps outside the central area and even though the sun was shining, I found it difficult to read and interpret.

I emailed TfL but I have received no reply. I asked them to reinstate the detailed PDF maps, but I'm still waiting! Anyone else ever have this experience?
 

GFamily

Über Member
Location
North Cheshire
Niblox said:
Hi all

Some of you may have cycled in London. In the last year I have cycled there on three occasions and to my surprise, it was not the horror that I thought it would be.

Part of the reason for my enjoyment was that there is a website called "Transport for London" which has a cycling section, which up to a few weeks ago, would allow you to use an interactive map to get from A to B using quiet back streets and cycle paths. This could be downloaded as a PDF file. A longish route necessitated a number of A4 pages (the longer the more pages) but it was really helpful and made for a very easy trip. The route was marked as a continuous line on the relevant streets and was really easy to follow.
...
I emailed TfL but I have received no reply. I asked them to reinstate the detailed PDF maps, but I'm still waiting! Anyone else ever have this experience?
If you use the general journey planner and select the cycle option, you still seem to get the option of printing out the route over several maps.
 

BentMikey

Rider of Seolferwulf
Location
South London
What about using Google maps to plan your journey? I realise that might have you doing more of the bigger roads than you might want, but it's still quite easy to drag the route onto the quieter roads if that's important to you. I think it's a much better and more useful tool.
 

jonny jeez

Legendary Member
BentMikey said:
What about using Google maps to plan your journey? I realise that might have you doing more of the bigger roads than you might want, but it's still quite easy to drag the route onto the quieter roads if that's important to you. I think it's a much better and more useful tool.
Google maps is certainly a better (and more useable) interface. My only critism of it (for cycling) is that it does not take into account cyclepaths or at least highlight them, so for instance you could maybe miss out on a cool riverside ride along say the south bank or limehouse link, whilst Google tries to direct you into the heavy traffic along the main road.

It also won't calculate time for journeys on anything other than foot or car.

I wish they could sort those two issues out then i could "live" on google maps as apposed to having to switch apps depending on my mode of transport
 

skrx

Active Member
You can get the original planner with multiple pages if you go to http://www.tfl.gov.uk/journeyplanner and choose the "Cycle" option.

Transport for London is often slow to reply to anything!


Other useful route-planning things in London:
- http://www.opencyclemap.org/ has excellent coverage in London.
- http://www.cyclestreets.net/ uses Open Cycle Map for route planning.
- TfL will provide free cycle maps, available in bike shops and online. Blue-signed routes are marked in blue, as well as off-road paths.
- If you get lost, there's a small local map on almost all bus stops, and a slightly larger one on many bus shelters and outside most stations. The letter on the top of the bus stop sign marks your place on the map.
 

B-B-BikeyStrike!

Active Member
My preferred navigation method is slightly reckless, but its damn handy.

A nokia n95 (or another GPS phone) with Google maps on it. Map your route using 'Walking directions', and follow the suggested route. Updates in real time. Its great. You've just got to learn how to cycle with a phone in your hand.

I'd like to see someone do this with an iPad. It'd be funny i reckon.
 

benb

Evidence based cyclist
Location
Epsom
B-B-BikeyStrike! said:
My preferred navigation method is slightly reckless, but its damn handy.

A nokia n95 (or another GPS phone) with Google maps on it. Map your route using 'Walking directions', and follow the suggested route. Updates in real time. Its great. You've just got to learn how to cycle with a phone in your hand.

I'd like to see someone do this with an iPad. It'd be funny i reckon.
Eats battery power though, and the maps can sometimes be sluggish to update depending on your data connection.

What I'd like is the ability to download all Google Map imagery so it wouldn't need to use the data connection for loading the images.
 

skrx

Active Member
benb said:
What I'd like is the ability to download all Google Map imagery so it wouldn't need to use the data connection for loading the images.
You can do this using OpenStreetMap, but I don't own a smartphone so I'm not quite sure how. I'm sure you can find something!
 

taxing

Well-Known Member
B-B-BikeyStrike! said:
My preferred navigation method is slightly reckless, but its damn handy.

A nokia n95 (or another GPS phone) with Google maps on it. Map your route using 'Walking directions', and follow the suggested route. Updates in real time. Its great. You've just got to learn how to cycle with a phone in your hand.

I'd like to see someone do this with an iPad. It'd be funny i reckon.
I did this today, dropped my phone, had to do a quick stop, and in my haste my back wheel lifted right off the ground and I had an unpleasant
meeting with the top tube. :laugh: It saved me from getting completely lost in a part of town I've never even see before though.
 
OP
Niblox

Niblox

Well-Known Member
Location
Edinburgh
Hi folks

Thanks for all your replies, I am glad to say I went back to the TfL website to the correct part of the site and the maps I was looking for are still available.
 
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