Future City Glasgow has launched a new free mobile phone app, called Glasgow Cycling, designed to help create an accurate picture of how cyclists travel about the city and ensure future investment is made in the right places.
Glasgow aims to become a cycling city but to achieve this planners need better information about how cyclists currently move around the city.
Current information is limited. There is an electronic counter on the Anderston footbridge and a manual cordon count takes place every year.
Future City Glasgow believes technology can help create a more detailed and useful picture. The team has developed a new cycling app which enables cyclists to map and submit their routes as they pedal.
The anonymous information will be available for free on Future City Glasgow’s open data website.
The app allows riders to submit their routes, the distances travelled, times taken and their average speeds. Cyclists will also be able to rate routes (out of five) for example on how flat or off-road they are.
Other cyclists can then use this information to plan their own journeys according to their fitness and confidence levels i.e. to avoid steep hills or busy roads.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Future City Glasgow, said: “Cycling has huge mental and physical health benefits for individuals as well as environmental advantages for the city.
“The number of cyclists coming into the city has increased drastically but Glasgow City Council is keen to encourage even more people to cycle both for leisure and commuting.
“This new app will provide accurate information which will be extremely helpful when decisions are being made on where and how to upgrade or extend cycling facilities. I hope bikers will seize this chance to contribute directly to work to make Glasgow more bike friendly.”
Victoria Leiper of Glasgow Bike Station urged cyclists to try the app. She said: “This is our opportunity, as cycle commuters to shape decision-making. It is perhaps the most pro-active thing we can do and I certainly plan to use the app every day to submit my own journeys and to encourage our customers at the Glasgow Bike Station to use it as well.”
Cycling Scotland is holding a two day conference with 200 delegates at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome on the 13th and 14th November 2014.
Keith Irving, Chief Executive Cycling Scotland, urged other cities to follow Glasgow’s example. He said: “All councils should be increasing monitoring of cycling levels. This initiative by Future City Glasgow combines technology with data to develop information about cycling conditions in Glasgow. We hope it will be successful and could feature in a future Cycling Scotland conference as best practice to be copied across the country.”
The app also incorporates a new interactive Future City Glasgow map showing the locations of cycle parking, bike shops and biking organisations. Bikers can also contribute their own local knowledge to the map by adding other facilities or groups.
The free Glasgow Cycling app is available now from the Apple store. An android version will be available soon on Google Play.
Current figures show that the number of cycle journeys into and from Glasgow city centre has increased from 3,012 to 9,255 per day – a rise of 207% – since 2007. This equates to 1,851,000 cycle journeys taken annually into and from the city centre.
The city’s new bike hire scheme has had 34,128 rentals.
Future City Glasgow is a £24million programme demonstrating how technology could make life in cities smarter, safer and more sustainable. The city won the funding in a competition run by InnovateUK – the UK Government’s innovation agency.
Glasgow Cycling – Apple Store Download