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London cyclists get upgrade from Google Maps

Cycleway in London
Image source: TfL

Transport for London (TfL) has announced a collaboration with Google Maps to improve the navigation capabilities for cyclists in the city.

It said the company has agreed to update its algorithms to prioritise cycling on safer, quieter roads and make them easier to discover on its digital maps.

This is intended to make journeys in the capital safer and more comfortable for cyclists using the app.

The move is one result of an innovation summit in the summer of last year in which cyclists highlighted barriers they face in moving around the city. TfL and the boroughs have delivered more than 340km of cycle routes in London, but existing digital journey planners do not always take these into account and provide the best route for cycling.

In addition, Google Maps is in the process of rolling out new features aimed at improving cycling in London. These include providing users with a detailed breakdown of a route so they can see what type of road they will be cycling on, and an immersive view that enables users to previous routes, including all cycle lanes and junctions, in advance.

The latter feature is scheduled to begin rolling out in London and other cities around the world before the end of the year.

People can also use the ‘send feedback’ option in Google Maps if they spot any routes that have better alternatives.

Commitment to safety

London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, said: “The mayor and I are committed to making cycling in London as safe and accessible as possible and have been working closely with Google. I’m delighted that Google Maps is enhancing the navigation system for cycling.

“With existing digital journey planning data, cyclists haven’t always been able to see the best route available to them. These updated algorithms will help Londoners choose safer cycling routes, whether it is a road with less traffic or part of the mayor’s growing network of cycleways, enabling more people to get around by bike as we build a greener and better London for everyone.”

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