London gets ‘world’s largest’ cycling database to make cycling easier

The newly launched Cycling Infrastructure Database – which locates more than 240,000 pieces of cycling infrastructure in London – is said to be the largest in the world, according to TfL.

Thanks to the database, all riders will be able to set off on their cycle journey knowing what to expect, in terms of protected cycle lanes, finding places to park, traffic filters and wayfinding signs.

Following research that found many people are uncomfortable about setting off on a cycle journey without knowing what to expect, TfL put together the data and has made it available to London boroughs and as open data to third-party developers. The data has already been updated for TfL’s own Journey Planner.

“As the capital’s Cycleway network continues to expand, cycling levels are rising,” said Simon Munk, Infrastructure Campaigner at London Cycling Campaign. “But as more main road cycle tracks and quieter neighbourhood schemes are added, navigating them remains far too intimidating, with maps and routing apps failing to accurately identify safe and inviting routes for all abilities to use to plan their cycle journeys. This new database opens the door for developers to improve their route planning apps for London’s riders, so more people can ride in confidence and safety from a to b.”

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, added: “Last year London saw the quickest growth in cycling journeys on record, but we must continue to do everything we can to make cycling easy and convenient for everyone. TfL’s Cycling Infrastructure Database is the biggest collection of cycling information anywhere in the world, and has the potential to transform the way we think about cycling. It means that wherever you live or work in the capital you can properly plan your journey from beginning to end, knowing the quickest and safest route through every London neighbourhood.

“With the open data being available to councils, developers, policy makers and anyone who wants it, it will be a really useful tool for planning new cycling investment in years to come.”

There’s more from Will Norman in the Cycling Industry Podcast Episode 5.