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Transport for London opens up data for safer cycling

Transport for London (TfL) is aiming to make life easier for the hundreds of thousands of cyclists who peddle around the capital’s streets each day by launching a new data platform detailing cycle lanes and places to park.

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London cyclists

TfL claims the Cycling Infrastructure Database is the largest data-set of its kind in the world, as it contains the location of more than 240,000 pieces of infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and parking spaces, and has been made available to all of London’s borough.


It has also been opened up to third party developers, with plans to hold a hackathon later this year to explore further ways to use the data.


The number of daily bicycle journeys in London has increased rapidly since the early 1990s. According to the most recent figures available, daily journeys have gone up from 270,000 in 1993 to 730,000 in 2016 - a rise of 170%.


The new database has been fuelled partly by TfL research which showed that many cyclists feel uncomfortable about setting off on a journey without knowing what to expect, particularly when it comes to finding a protected cycle lane or a place to park.


TfL said the database has already been used to upgrade its own Journey Planner and to develop the Cycle Parking Implementation Plan, and that it will make it possible to plan future investment in cycling more effectively.


Will Norman, London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, said: “Last year London saw the quickest growth in cycling journeys on record, but we must continue to do everything we can to make cycling easy and convenient for everyone.


“TfL’s Cycling Infrastructure Database is the biggest collection of cycling information anywhere in the world, and has the potential to transform the way we think about cycling. It means that wherever you live or work in the capital you can properly plan your journey from beginning to end, knowing the quickest and safest route through every London neighbourhood.


“With the open data being available to councils, developers, policy makers and anyone who wants it, it will be a really useful tool for planning new cycling investment in years to come.”

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