Graham, Tom and Ian

Your Lib Dem team for Cheadle West & Gatley Learn more

A route planner for walking and cycling

by Lib Dem team on 2 December, 2009

The ViaMichelin route planner site has an interesting feature: it allows you to plan your route, anywhere in Europe, by bike or on foot in addition to driving.

I’ve been giving it a test drive, and it’s not bad – but far from perfect.

In my testing, the cycle route planner directs you down smaller roads when the route’s the more direct, as you’d expect.  It also picks up on at least some places where a bike can go and a car can’t, such as where two roads connect but bollards prevent cars passing through.

Essentially, it seems to pick the shortest route, avoiding motorways, and using these cut-throughs where it can.

What it doesn’t do, yet, is have any way to avoid routes unsuitable for less experienced cyclists.  For example, in planning a route from Gatley to Manchester, it has no hesitation in sending me up Kingsway and sending me round the junction by East Didsbury station in Parrs Wood (a particularly challenging junction when you’re cycling south out of Manchester).

It’s a good start, but I’d love to see an option that actively tried to avoid dual carriageways and complex junctions, and was aware of signed cycle routes and paths.

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