Google Maps introduces safe cycle routes, but some disagree

Google Maps can now advise cyclists on the safest routes to take on their journeys, after joining forces with Sustrans, a charity that specialises in safe travel.

Cyclists will be able to plan bike-friendly trips – factoring in bike lanes and avoiding steep hills – from 5pm on Wednesday 11 July on Google Maps, via a computer or smartphone. 

Users of Google Maps will be able to select the cycling icon that will sit alongside the more familiar driving, walking and public transport options in the directions setting.

However, though Google has been working closely with Sustrans to ensure the routes suggested are safe for cyclists, there appears to be some flaws with the early version after some claimed the service cites known danger spots as being “safe”.

For example, the junction at The Highway and Dock Street in east London where Times reporter, Mary Bowers was seriously injured on her bike, is currently listed as part of a "safe" route.

However, as the cycle routes are picked up from the National Cycle Network, Google is relying on it to provide the most suitable routes. Besides, as Google has the ability to update its mapping services, any issues such as these should be ironed out to prove a popular addition among cyclists.

Will you use Google Maps for your cycle routes? Let us know in the comments section below.



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