Google Maps has unveiled a new service which it hopes will make cycling safer.
After a collaboration with the charity Sustrans, it will allow users to navigate National Cycle Network routes when searching for directions.
From Wednesday, Google Maps will include a 'bicycle' symbol, alongside existing options such as walking, driving and public transport.
The service will then display the safest route possible, making use of cycle lanes and other protected ares, according to Google.
The new routes will will also avoid big hills, and avoiding known blackspots.
However, the service is clearly still in 'beta', something Google admits. In one instance, the junction of The Highway and Dock Street in East London - where Mary Bowers, a Times reporter, was hit by a lorry, helping to inspire the paper's recently lauded cycling safety campaign - is listed as one such 'safe' route.
Sustrans’ Chief Executive, Malcolm Shepherd said:
"Safety is the number one concern for people who want to ride their bikes and now it’s easier than ever to find the safest way to get from a to b on two wheels.
"Google has given cycling equal status to driving and using public transport – we need our politicians and local councils to do the same"
Ed Parsons, geospatial technologist at Google UK said that the maps would be a welcome addition during a busy summer of sport for London and the UK.
"We know how popular cycling is in London and the rest of the UK, especially ahead of a busy summer, which is why we are thrilled to bring cycling directions to Google Maps.
"Thanks to Sustrans, we now have thousands miles of trails and routes, as well as bike lanes and recommended streets for cities across the country.
"We'll continue to add new trail information and urge commuters to swap their car for a bike as they can now find a convenient route that makes use of dedicated bike tracks and avoid hills whenever possible."