As of the beginning of April the Department for Transport’s TransportDirect journey planner has included included Kent. We’ve found that it works fairly well on several relatively-short test journeys that we’ve planned using it. However, we were particularly disappointed when using it to plan a longer journey between Dover and Ashford. Apparently the best route to cycle between the two towns is to go via Canterbury. There are far more direct routes.
We are also worried that Kent County Council needs to pay an ongoing subscription for the TransportDirect system. Money that could be better spent improving facilities for cyclists on the ground.
We’ve long supported the CycleStreets journey planner for a number of reasons:
- It is developed by people who cycle every day; people from Cambridge Cycle Campaign. They know intimately about the choices that cyclists take when choosing the best route between A and B;
- It relies upon open data from the OpenStreetMap project, so it is easy for us to add new cycle routes into the system the moment that they materialise on the ground. The map data is collected (the term is crowdsourced) by the community, thus the costs are minimal;
- CycleStreets is also a useful campaigning tool with the ability to highlight good examples of infrastructure and to draw attention to the parts that need improvement. Photos taken of the road/path environment and signs can be shown as part of the turn-by-turn instructions, so you know exactly what to expect on your journey.
We’re now happy to announce that you can use CycleStreets straight from the Spokes website. Just click the Cycle journey planner link you can see near the top of every page on the Spokes website. Our thanks to CycleStreets for recently adding the ability to achieve this.
Oh, and we’re glad that CycleStreets realises that there are routes between Dover and Ashford that don’t go via Canterbury.