Cyclestreets - routing engine for the Bike Hub app - wins through to £150,000 GeoVation transport awards.

Cycle mappers shortlisted in Ordnance Survey awards

Cyclestreets, a not-for-profit company based in Cambridge, has reached the finals of a national funding contest, GeoVation, run by the Ordnance Survey. 

GeoVation aims to to help fund ideas which will help improve transport in the UK.

Cyclestreets was created as an online mapping service for Cambridge Cycling Campaign but was scaled up for the rest of the UK. Cycle-specific mapping is one of the ways that new and hesitant cyclists can be persuaded to take up cycling and the Cyclestreets service includes a satnav-style routing engine which selects the best cycle-friendly journey options. The industry-funded Bike Hub iPhone and Android apps use the Cyclestreets routing engine, and Bike Hub also uses Cyclestreets for an online journey planner.

Cyclestreets has been used to plan over 650,000 cycle journeys and use of the service is accelerating due to use by smartphone apps where cyclists can be guided ‘live’.

Over 150 entries were initially submitted to the GeoVation awards, and CycleStreets have succeeded in the initial shortlisting stage and a subsequent workshop event.

A ‘Dragon’s Den’-style event to select the winning projects will be held on 4th May at the Ordnance Survey’s new eco-friendly headquarters in Southampton. This ‘GeoVation Showcase’ event will select up to five winners, who will share a bounty of £150,000, to enable the projects to be developed further.

CycleStreets’ proposal is for a web-based system to improve the effectiveness of cycling advocacy groups around the UK. These groups aim to get more people on their bikes, by encouraging local councils to create safer and more convenient conditions for cycling. 

CycleStreets’ proposal has the backing national cycling campaign bodies such as the CTC.

A statement from CTC said: “A web-tool for cyclists to help local councils spend their cycling budgets cost-effectively would be a wonderful ‘big society’ venture, that could yield huge benefits for our health and that of our streets, communities and the environment.”

CycleStreets’ idea will make use of a variety of information sources, including the Ordnance Survey’s boundary and postcode data, collision and planning application information, and OpenStreetMap data.

Dr Chris Parker, GeoVation Co-ordinator at Ordnance Survey, said: 

“There are huge and exciting opportunities for geography to be harnessed to help us all travel in a smarter, more sustainable way, as all our finalists have clearly demonstrated. We’re looking forward to seeing the CycleStreets pitch.”

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