Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Transport Direct: cycling routes

I was looking for some information on government contracts today, and stumbled across details of two £1m contracts that the Department for Transport awarded to Landmark Information Group and Cycle City Guides a few days ago. The contracts are to build and maintain a database of cycling data for urban centres in Great Britain. The intent is to support cycle route planning on the Transport Direct web site.

Until then. I hadn't realised that Transport Direct had started offering a cycle route planning service, but I've now given it a try. The existing service looks a bit limited, but I've tried it out on a couple of routes that I am fairly familiar with. It seems to do a decent job, though the Transport Direct user interface has always been a bit clunky.

It's easy to be cynical about these things. On the whole I reckon that Transport Direct does a reasonable job, and I use it fairly often to plan trips that rely on public transport. So I ought to welcome this additional facility, and I imagine that over time they will manage to extend and improve it.

If that seems a bit of a lukewarm reaction, then remember that they have a high standard to live up to. Examples such as Cycle Streets demonstrate just how much can be achieved on what I assume is a much more limited budget. I only hope that in time we will discover that public funding has helped to encourage even more innovation in this area, rather than stifle it.

1 comment:

Macdougal said...

haven’t gone biking in a while, but I’m planning on starting over. I started looking for some cycling stuff online ... i like the Apre Velo site ---they have the coolest products

thanks for sharing!