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Travel Time app highlights how cycling is the quickest way to get about in London

How far can you get in 15, 30, 45 minutes by different modes of transport?

In Canada (and doubtless in several other countries) permanent signs on major roads inform you how long it’ll take you to get to the next town or city. This is the meaningful metric when getting from A to B, isn’t it? Time.

This is what has given rise to TravelTime – a search tool for anyone wanting to assess their journeys by travelling time rather than distance. It’s been created by British-based software firm iGeolise.

To use it, you say where you are, enter a travel time, choose a mode of transport and then it’ll display a map with a shaded area indicating where you can get to within that timeframe.

The app provides data for five modes of travel:

  • Public transport combines walking with all modes of public transport. (This can include a 25 minute walk to the first public transport mode and then a 25-minute walk to the destination)
  • Driving is modelled using TravelTime’s own algorithms for peak and off peak times
  • Walking uses an average speed of 4km/h
  • Driving and train includes driving to a train station, parking a car, waiting for the train and the journey itself, as well as walking from the station
  • Cycling

The standard search assumes the user is leaving the point of origin at the time of the search, but you can change that by pressing ‘Go’ on the front search page and clicking ‘Now’ on the search bar at the top right corner.

Where it gets fun is when you compare how much further you can get cycling than by using other forms of transport.

Here in Manchester, cycling fares well for 15-minute journeys. TravelTime reckons you can get further on a bike in that time than by any other form of transport.

It’s still better than public transport for half-hour journeys, but the pink splodge for driving is by far the largest for this timeframe.

It’s a similar story for my colleagues in Bath, but there aren’t too many trips in and around London that wouldn’t be completed quickest by bike. (In the City of London, average A road traffic speeds are now 7.6mph.)

Cyclist used their office in the heart of London as a reference point, but pick an area yourself and take a look. Even for 45-minute journeys, cycling opens up more destinations than cars or public transport.

If public transport maybe edges ahead for journeys of an hour and upwards, you’re not really going further by car than by bike until you hit about 90 minutes of travelling time.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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4 comments

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aegisdesign | 5 years ago
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It's quite useful and I might include it on a website showing local people here how quickly they can get in to work by different methods. They have a free API.

It's not perfect. My bike commute takes me nearer 40 minutes usually than the 62 minutes they state. It would be useful to be able to tweak the cycling speed by maybe having a fitness level slider. I'm presuming it's accounting for hills or maybe  overaccounting for them.

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rogermerriman replied to aegisdesign | 5 years ago
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aegisdesign wrote:

It's quite useful and I might include it on a website showing local people here how quickly they can get in to work by different methods. They have a free API.

It's not perfect. My bike commute takes me nearer 40 minutes usually than the 62 minutes they state. It would be useful to be able to tweak the cycling speed by maybe having a fitness level slider. I'm presuming it's accounting for hills or maybe  overaccounting for them.

 

I'm assuming it's not hills, asking it nr my folks place it follows the roads but equally up and down the valley, down is 700-250ft  up is 700-1300ft it shows equal times in both directions.

 

I can get down to the market town in just about 15 mins but up is getting on for 30mins by bike, it's bus times are laughable!

 

in fairness thats a extreme case, in London it's not perfect but gives a idea.

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ChrisB200SX | 5 years ago
2 likes

This week I got a refund on my season ticket and started driving the Reading to Camberwell commute.
As a contractor, financially it makes a lot of sense, paying myself mileage allowance and claiming the parking costs through expenses, not sure why I didn't try it months ago. It's taking about the same time as cycling at either end of the Reading-Paddington train journey. 3 miles into reading in 12 mins, 6 miles to Camberwell in 25-30 minutes on the Bromtpon.
Yesterday's traffic across Vauxhall meant I could feel the soot in the air inside my car  2
The M4/A4 part of the journey is good, it's the final 10 miles that are really slow... and in that it's obvious that bikes are much quicker. If only I could find affordable parking around the area it slows right down...

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nniff | 5 years ago
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It's not bad, but the cycling speed is something of an abstract average I think as it gives an unrealistic even-ish circle around my house.  It also doesn't think that I can do my commute in 1:30 - it takes 1:20, two thirds of which (roughly) is fairly normal average speed riding and the remainder is London traffic and tarffic light constrained. Heading away from London, the speed should be higher - in other words, my zone shold really be some sort of rounded cam shaped thing rather than a circle.

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