Online House Hunter: Homes for cyclists
THE Independent’s Save Our Cyclists campaign for safer cycling in the UK has quite rightly received widespread approval. And if you’re intending to cycle to work, or your children are going to cycle to school, then good cycle routes are probably at the forefront of your mind when choosing a new home.
The internet has many resources that can help you decide which is the potential new home that will offer the best – and safest – cycle routes. Your starting point should be checking out the local council’s website. This DirectGov tool will help you find your local council by postcode.
London leads the way with numerous detailed maps and resources for cyclists. Transport for London offers a handy route planner for cyclists. Type in where you live (or want to live) and the location of your office or school and it works out a route that is easy, moderate or fastest. You can print out the finished map or upload it to your GPS. Oxford and Cambridge pioneered cycling long before it was fashionable. Oxfordshire County Council for example has a number of online resources for cyclists. In addition to the cycle maps are facts and information on cycling.
Search for local cycling clubs or campaigns that can give you more information on routes and facilities. Cambridge for example has the Cambridge Cycling Campaign where members swap notes and link up for communal rides. The London Cycling Campaign is also very active.
You’ll also find a number of national organisations ready to help. Cyclenation highlights a number of events and campaigns (naked cycling anyone on June 3 in Manchester?) including a plea for a national standard for cycle maps. Anyone who has tried to decode the variety of online cycle maps will welcome this – they suggest the design pioneered by Cheltenham Cycling Campaign for its clarity and simplicity.
Sustrans also does much good work in promoting healthier and greener ways of travelling including cycling. Check out their cycling pages and you can also use their mapping service for routes that involve something other than gas-guzzling cars. Parents will particularly welcome their Safer Routes To Schools pages.
There’s plenty more resources on the web that will help you choose a cycle-friendly neighbourhood but I’ll end with a traffic levels map from Transport Direct which enables you to type in the location, date and time of day to reveal predicted traffic levels.
OTHER USEFUL LINKS
- Our Online Property Search Engine
- Independent Save Our Cyclists Campaign
- Transport Direct
- CTC - UK cycling organisation
- Brake - road safety charity
- Road Safety Foundation
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