Google and Sustrans, the charity that helps people travel by foot, bicycle or public transport are working together to provide maps with safer routes in the UK for cyclists.

If you’ve been thinking of getting on a bike but you’re a bit nervous and routes with too much traffic give you sweaty palms on your handlebars, this will no doubt come as a relief.

UK Google Maps will show National Cycle Network routes via a new bicycle symbol alongside the more familiar icons for driving, public transport and walking.

Journeys can be planned that make better use of bike lanes, avoid big hills (we’re a big fan of that part) and users can customise maps on their computer or smart phone.

cyclemaps Google teams up with Sustrans to provide safer cycling routes for Google Maps users in the UK

The nice thing about seeing a bicycle icon on the screen is that it points to a more equal status for cyclists as road users. The combination of Google Maps and Sustrans means that there will be miles of trails and routes that are more suitable for two wheels as well as bike lanes on roads that give cyclists a bit more space to feel secure.

susmap520 Google teams up with Sustrans to provide safer cycling routes for Google Maps users in the UK

The addition of these routes to Google Maps is a nice compliment to the ‘Boris Bikes’ or Barclays Cycle Hire scheme that is available to Londoners and any other bike initiatives around the country. It’s nice to be able to pick up a bike and even better to be able to work out a place to go that is not a scary ride.

Sustrans has marked this occasion with a neat little video entitled, ‘Lucy’s Cycling Treasure Hunt’. Though we’re fairly sure you don’t get a free ‘Mike’ with your maps, it certainly points to an idea or two that might make cycling more fun. Check out the video below:

Image Credit: Gemb1