Friday, 21 September 2012

Coventry Cycling Map - Proposed and Problems

This diagram shows the proposed "Sky Blue" routes in and around Coventry, following the 12 spoke pattern.

Click on Image to enlarge

The red circles (and larger crosses) show where problems exist. In many ways, the network is already there - with better signage and supportive mapping, most places are currently reachable from the city centre for reasonably competent cyclists. As the network improves, it becomes more accessible to other cyclists, and eventually anyone can go anywhere at any time.

The biggest single challenge at the moment is getting to and from Ryton. This could be significantly improved if it was made a part of the Section 106 (planning gain) agreement for the Coventry Gateway Project.


  1. Who is proposing this?

    I'm not convinced that applying a London Underground idea of a network to cycling is appropriate.

    Conventional maps indicate distance, which schematics don't.

    The only place you'll find trains are on tracks, the only place you'll find buses are on bus routes and planes only fly between airports.

    But cyclists can and do use the whole road and path network. Maps such as councils' cycling maps just show suggested routes; any particular cyclist will have good grounds for using parts of the wider road network which aren't on the map.

    Some people have created maps showing how cycle friendly each road is, but that leads to complex maps.

  2. George -

    Everything on this blog or on that isn't already documented elsewhere is being proposed by myself alone.

    The idea is to use the history of Coventry to create something unique and memorable - and the two strongest themes are the bike itself and the watch / clock face, both of which play on our strong history.

    Most of the routes above already exist in some form. I have highlighted around 50 places which are in need of either major or minor alteration. If all of these were done tomorrow, there would be very few blockages to cycling left in the city.

    I totally agree that cyclists can "meander" - this is simply a way of identifying the most important routes in and out of, and around the city centre.

    Remember that it is the council, not you or I, who have removed a perfectly usable on-street route on the Holyhead Road, because they deemed an alternative route through quieter streets better, even if it was much less direct. I am not proposing that. The core idea would be to have the trunk routes clearly identified (using sky blue paint if people buy the idea), and then to have 20mph city wide in all residential areas.

    This proposal is, of course, very much a marketing exercise, and I make no apology for that. This is the UK, not the Netherlands. We have to add some fizz and sparkly to get people who otherwise would just plump themselves down in front of X-Factor interested in getting active.

    I don't expect it to be to everyone's taste, but I think it is a workable proposal which is highly relevant to Coventry.

  3. James, I love the concept and look of this. Any chance of a pdf or hi res version? I'd love to put an A3 version on the wall.

    Coventry's lack of a large river, coastline or significant topography has created probably the closest Britain has to a 'hub and spoke' city layout and this map demonstrates it well. I think you may have been influenced by this :

    George makes a great point, it's all very well compressing real distances when you're on a metro or at the zoo but some indication of distance would be a useful addition to a field version of this. But it is fascinating to look at and demonstrably a good talking point!

  4. Danny, I am away right now, so I will reply by the start of next week. Thanks for the feed back, James

  5. Danny,

    There are about 3 versions of the map at the moment, all using same base. The one above shows around 50 places which would need attention. With those removed / toned down, you would have a map of the city as is.

    The other variants are based on the city as it could be - one with more route suggestions, and the other simply being the 12 spokes, which form the logo.

    Any influences from tube maps would go firmly back to Beck and London, although you aren,t the first to point out the similarities with London.

    There are several reasons for going for 12 routes, rather than 8, as Beck might suggest. Firstly, and most obviously, is that this does actually correspond with routes in and out of the city. Secondly, the whole point of the branding exercise is to play on the history of the city to build on something for the future. Hence the 12 spokes relate to the clockface, giving a very simple numbering system that people can always relate to, even as they meander in and out of the trunk network.

    You could add an approximate distance in terms of the hub and rim radii, being approx 1/2 mile and 3-4 miles respectively. One advantage of having such a simple map is that you could easily add on a mileage to each destination, with typical journey times based on, say, 9, 12 and 15mph.

    However, it is not my intention to get involved with any kind of street overlay - the council already does this anyway, and that is a massive undertaking. Also, I would want to keep any route suggestions fairly loose - I have my ideas, but it is up to the council again to decide exactly where the routes go. What is far more important is to get a commitment asap to building all new routes to proper Dutch standards.

  6. Sorry, similarities with Moscow!