Regular readers of this website got the scoop on this news story in August but today the launch is official. Visitors to can now access OS quality maps for offline printing, a resource sponsored to the tune of £100 000 by Halfords in a three-year deal

Halfords-sponsored Sustrans website launched

Internet users can find their nearest National Cycle Network routes and print off 1:50 000 scale OS based maps.

Sustran’s website is said to offer "a virtual journey along the Network providing information and visuals of what to see and do along the way" including links to YHA hostels, National Trust properties, Millennium Commission projects and so forth. 4000 sites of interest along the route are featured in small pop-up panels. And on each map there are little ‘h’ symbols which denote Halfords stores.

The revamped site also features short ‘how to’ articles featuring the Halfords logo but whilst the Sustrans press release says they were written by Bike Hut specialists they were probably written by Sustrans staffers. The intro to the family cycling article was lifted from an issue of ‘On Your Bike’ (I know, I wrote it!).

In one of the technical articles (which are very basic and not much help at all) there’s this piece of forwarding: "ask advice from the cycle specialists that can be found at most Halfords."

The poor technical articles may be updated soon. Halfords PR manager David Evans told

"Fine tuning will take place as and when appropriate. This may include copy changes. A website is live media, and the number one advantage is how flexible it is, and how easily it can be changed and updated."

John Grimshaw, Sustrans Director and Chief Engineer, believes the revamp will be a winner:

“We hope that this site will make cycling on the Network more and more attractive, and at the same time encourage all those with businesses in the countryside and tourism to make links and amenities so as to encourage their clients, staff and visitors to cycle towards a sustainable future.”

Keith Scott, Halfords general manager for cycling, said:

"This site will make the routes of the National Cycle Network more accessible, and encourage more people to get out onto their bikes. As the UK’s number one cycling retailer we want to help people discover how much fun cycling can be, even if it’s

been a few years since they were last on two wheels. There really are no more excuses for not riding a bike."…/defaultmap.asp

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