Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #66: Backed by the Development Manager for the London Cycle Network.


In 2011, Brian Deegan, the development manager for the London Cycle Network, wrote the following piece entitled 'Why I am backing the London Cycle Map Campaign'...

It is true to say that Simon Parker's colour-coded Tube-style mapping system has met with mixed reviews from the current cycling establishment. Some believe the system to be too complex, too much of a departure, or not aligned with their own policies. Some prefer signing using London Cycle Network route numbers, or bikeability ratings, while others concentrate on greenways and leisure routes.

The trouble is, with 33 different local authorities, TfL, The Royal Parks and British Waterways adopting different policies towards cycle signage, the result is a somewhat confusing mess. The current state of affairs – with several cycling mapping systems in operation – is simply not acceptable and in my view discourages and impedes cycling growth. I think we all need to put our heads together and agree on one system then implement it consistently across London.

This system would have to be expansive yet inclusive of work on both a macro and micro level, be elegant yet informative, and not be confusing or overcomplicated. Like many cycle planners, I have spent years trying to find this this system, and in my opinion the best idea to have come along is the Tube-style approach based on the compass colour system devised by Simon Parker. This has the highest potential to attract new cyclists, as well as offering schematic simplicity and engaging design. It will take a lot of work and commitment to establish this system, but I believe it is one that can fulfil all our diverse requirements as planners.

I do not in any way want to disparage any effort to promote cycling through mapping systems developed so far. In fact, I applaud them and am personally responsible for some of them. My reason for providing this testimonial is that we are now in a position where cycling can truly become a mainstream transport option in London, and I believe we need a sophisticated mapping system to make the best planning tools and information available to cyclists, enabling them to better plan their journeys in a convenient way.

Because London is a complex and unique city, it is hard to find systems that can be translated from other cities to ours. So we need to invent our own. Simon Parker’s system is a great invention and the compass colour methodology is ingenious. I wish to give his work and Cycle Lifestyle's London Cycle Map Campaign my full backing and support.

The views stated above are very much my own and not those of the organisations I represent. I write this testimonial to applaud the effort of the amateur, which is in keeping with the true spirit of cycling.


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