Re: lcn tagging in Cambridge

Posted by Kevin Steinhardt on 17 October 2009 in English (English)

I've had an idea: you know the primary routes indicated by the blue signs through town: ...would these form the basis for a 'local cycle network' and thus justify use of the lcn tag? This would show up blue on Mapnik and could form part of a journey planner engine (even though there's no real reason for a replacement Cyclestreets). I welcome your replies.

Comment from eAi on 17 October 2009 at 19:06

My experience of these in London and other areas is that they're not consistent routes, at least not reliably. Often you'll follow one and then not see another sign and end up going completely the wrong way! Even so, it's certainly useful to have 'recommended routes' for cyclists marked, whether these should be on Open Street Map itself or a separate database based on OSM, I'm not sure?

I've used Surrey County Council's maps which show official routes and recommended routes, rated by what kind of bike is suitable for each, these include on road (mostly) and off-road routes and are really helpful. You can see these online (using a rather appalling map viewer) at (click on one of the areas of the green map at the bottom). Something like this would be really useful across a larger area, perhaps it already exists?

Comment from Kevin Steinhardt on 17 October 2009 at 19:13

Cambridge's route and signage are more or less flawless. I'll mark in the local routes that I 100% know the route of, and I'll have to set a GPX off and follow the signs for each of the others. Cambridge's map is available from most bike shops in the city, the Council and also

Comment from chillly on 17 October 2009 at 19:33

Just tag what you find on the ground. If it is signed as a local, named or numbered route tag it as such. Just to be clear - don't copy a route from another copyright source. Have you seen the Cycle Map (blue and white '+' top right)?

Comment from Kevin Steinhardt on 17 October 2009 at 19:50

OpenCycleMap? Of course I have. I'll mark the route out from the multitude of 'primary' route signs dotted about Cambridge. I'm absolutely certain of the routes of some of the network, so I'll leave the rest until I've gone and surveyed.

Comment from Richard on 17 October 2009 at 21:33

The blue-signed routes in Cambridge form a coherent local cycling network and were intended to do so. So yes, absolutely, they should be tagged with lcn tags and therefore show up in OpenCycleMap. I've done a couple of little bits in the past (up near Hertford Street and also Garret Hostel Lane) and would be delighted if someone were to do the rest.

Comment from davidearl on 18 October 2009 at 11:17

I also think this is a good idea. The routes were build around a destination system - about 10 destinations were chosen as the names to go on the signs and all the blue signs reference those and no others. Unfortunately a few key ones didn't materialize because of cross boundary political issues - by village of Fulbourn being the key missing one! These were then also designed to tie up with the Cambridge Cycle Map ( so not only is the signage on the ground well thought out and consistent, it matches what the official map says too. The red squares on the map are the key destinations that appear on the signs.

What we can't do though is copy the routes off the map because it is Crown Copyright. If we were doing the map again now, I'd be suggesting to the authorities that we use OSM, but it predates OSM coverage in Cambridge.

I think the main problem is what to call them, because they aren't numbered. They are, in this respect, more like the Paris metro than the London Underground - Paris names its tube lines by the end points.

There is also a subnetwork of even more local local cycling and walking routes signed on the ground in white on black signs and marked on the map in orange.

Comment from Kevin Steinhardt on 18 October 2009 at 12:14

I don't think we should name/number them, David; I think they should just appear as a blue line as on the Cambridge cycle map (of which I have a copy Blu-tack to my hallway). I think a few people should go out and cycle between two of the destinations (I know the Kings Hedges mark is at a Tesco Express; perfect for a cheap sandwich) and follow the signs from one end of the city to another. The lcn will undoubtedly double over some stretches of road/cycleway (Gresham Road, Hobson Street, etc.). Just set a device to record, and cycle around: but remember to *only follow the signs*; in Cambridge, it's so easy to make slight deviations.

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