Monday, 7 April 2008

More cycle routes

I went to the Sustrans website to look at the National Cycle Network map again, to find some more detail of the cycle routes close to home. The link to the maps had been taken off the site. I used the history list from my browser to go to the page, which was still there. The grind of using the Sustrans map wasn't any easier, but it showed an alternative route for NCN route 1 that leaves the Humber Bridge and heads north, eventually to Beverley, rather than the variation that head east into Hull. I went out to follow it and photograph the signs.

There was absolutely no evidence on the ground. The map even shows a bridal path in a substantially wrong place (an Easter Egg?) . I stuck at it and eventually I found a route 66 sign coming out of Hull heading towards Cottingham. I followed it towards Beverley and at a couple of points it has signs also showing route 1, as well as route 66. I followed the route through Beverley but it petered out in the north of Beverley. The odd thing is that route 66 is supposed to start in Beverley and head west to Manchester via Leeds, yet the signs show it starts south east of Beverley.

I will try to find more of routes 1, 65 and 66 another day, but I am disappointed with the Sustrans information. They have received millions of pounds of public money as well as other donations to promote, amongst other things, these cycle routes. The web site and the evidence on the ground are contradictory. If I bought a map from them it might make everything clear, but the web site and signage just puts me off.

1 comment:

Richard Fairhurst said...

Navigating Sustrans routes is a bit of a black art, it's true, and the maps on their site don't help much. When you eventually find the routes they're often great - but it's not easy!

For me this is one of the big reasons to contribute to OSM, and in particular the cycle map - we can actually do some good by building a better mousetrap. Given the rate at which our NCN coverage is expanding, and the fact that the mapping on Sustrans' new Routes2Ride site is still pretty poor, I can foresee a time in a year or two when OSM becomes the best source of maps for the NCN.

(Incidentally, the paper maps are indeed very good - but they only exist for a tiny fraction of the network.)