Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #93: Creating a cycling reference point

#93: CREATING A CYCLING REFERENCE POINT. One of the most common questions about the London Cycle Map is: ‘How will I know where the routes are?’. The answer is: in the same way that you’d find out where Tube stations are. In both cases, you’d consult another map – an A to Z, Google maps, etc. Simon Parker has created this map, showing which actual streets his London Cycle Map routes are on.

Of course, once you were on the network, you wouldn’t need another map. Signs would show you the way, just as they do on the Tube. The signage would obviously be great for navigation, but it would also have another positive impact: creating a cycling reference point.

Consider how people use Tube Stations as reference points. They say “meet me at the station”, or “the nearest Tube station to our offices is...”, or they give directions from the station – “come out of the station, take the first right and then carry on till you reach the swimming pool on the right”.

The same would soon happen with junctions on the London Cycle Network. People would say “meet me at junction R1G4”, or “the nearest junction to our offices is...”, or they’d give directions from a particular junction – “turn right at R1G4, take the first left then carry on until you reach the bank”. They might also give directions which refer to a point between two junctions – “once you pass C1R5, take the second left then the first right – the park is straight ahead”.

Tube Stations today are famous landmarks, and the junctions of a London Cycle Map would soon become just as recognisable. They could even be christened with names reflecting the area they’re in. Perhaps houses and businesses near the London Cycle Network would become more desirable.

In putting some of London’s cycle routes on a single London Cycle Map, we could really put cycling on the map.


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