Lowest Traffic Route?

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
meursault
Posts: 18
Joined: 15 Sep 2013, 11:31am

Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby meursault » 17 Sep 2020, 9:48am

Apologies if posted many times before, but is there any advice/links on quietest road routes?

I love a climb but hate that constant car noise.

whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby whoof » 17 Sep 2020, 10:25am

Taking you at your word this is pretty low traffic between LE and Shrewsbury. Does it's best to avoid main road and towns. A couple of places such as Tiverton and Taunton the paths are often removed from the main road or on quite back streets.

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/182835

edit does include some off road paths. Some such as Strawberry Line (not tarmacked) have easy quiet road alternatives, other such as getting through or around Bristol either need to go on tarmacked paths (M5 or Bristol Bath railway path) or probably need to go a completely different way.

Enigmadick
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Joined: 5 Mar 2016, 11:28am

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby Enigmadick » 17 Sep 2020, 11:42am

As I understand it most of the route planning apps automatically select a low traffic route.
ENIGMA DICK aka Richard Barrett
https://www.cicerone.co.uk/authors/richard-barrett
Use the code RB20C to get 20% off any Cicerone guidebook when you buy direct

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby Tigerbiten » 17 Sep 2020, 5:59pm

A lot will depend on how much extra time you have to meander up quiet lanes.
With only two weeks then you're pretty much locked into an almost direct roughly 1000 mile route.
With 4 weeks you can meander a lot more and up the distance to around 1500 miles while still doing a shorter daily distance.

Quietest route I can think of would take you further west into Wales than normal, then cut across and go up the spine of the Pennines, followed by the west coast of Scotland.

Luck ........ :D

Sid Aluminium
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Joined: 26 Feb 2019, 7:38pm
Location: Beyond the edge of the wild

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby Sid Aluminium » 17 Sep 2020, 7:08pm

'Lowest'. Hmm.

FWIW, there's Sustrans' "Land's End to John o'Groats on the National Cycling Network". Paths, lanes. A bit of track. 1189 English miles (1293 Roman miles).

meursault
Posts: 18
Joined: 15 Sep 2013, 11:31am

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby meursault » 18 Sep 2020, 2:14pm

Enigmadick wrote:As I understand it most of the route planning apps automatically select a low traffic route.


They really don't. They tend to favour high cycle traffic, which includes commutes. Which means commuter only riders who ride busy roads and don't care about car traffic.
Last edited by meursault on 18 Sep 2020, 2:16pm, edited 1 time in total.

meursault
Posts: 18
Joined: 15 Sep 2013, 11:31am

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby meursault » 18 Sep 2020, 2:15pm

Sid Aluminium wrote:'Lowest'. Hmm.

FWIW, there's Sustrans' "Land's End to John o'Groats on the National Cycling Network". Paths, lanes. A bit of track. 1189 English miles (1293 Roman miles).


Don't mind a bit of track, will check out tyvm.

meursault
Posts: 18
Joined: 15 Sep 2013, 11:31am

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby meursault » 18 Sep 2020, 2:16pm

Tigerbiten wrote:A lot will depend on how much extra time you have to meander up quiet lanes.
With only two weeks then you're pretty much locked into an almost direct roughly 1000 mile route.
With 4 weeks you can meander a lot more and up the distance to around 1500 miles while still doing a shorter daily distance.

Quietest route I can think of would take you further west into Wales than normal, then cut across and go up the spine of the Pennines, followed by the west coast of Scotland.

Luck ........ :D


Scenery is a big plus, all noted Grazie!

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby Jdsk » 18 Sep 2020, 2:20pm

meursault wrote:
Enigmadick wrote:As I understand it most of the route planning apps automatically select a low traffic route.

They really don't. They tend to favour high cycle traffic, which includes commutes. Which means commuter only riders who ride busy roads and don't care about car traffic.

I'd never thought of that.

Anything on how specific planners do this, please?

Thanks

Jonathan

Richard Fairhurst
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Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 18 Sep 2020, 2:40pm

Jdsk wrote:Anything on how specific planners do this, please?


Most cycling route-planners optimise by road class. In other words, they prefer minor roads to B roads, and B roads to A roads. This is a rough proxy for car traffic levels, but only rough (there are quiet A roads and busy unclassified roads). They also sprinkle in a number of other (factual) inputs such as surface type and climb. Google Maps and CycleStreets are examples of this.

Some route-planners add popularity to this. This is generally not the total number of cycle journeys along a particular road, but the number taken (or planned) by that planner's users. Strava, Garmin, and (to a lesser extent) RideWithGPS do this. Strava's popularity rankings, for example, are purely based on how many Strava users have logged a ride along a particular road - not the total level of cycle traffic.

cycle.travel (my site) does use real motor traffic levels, where that data is openly available (it often isn't). In other words, it prefers genuinely quiet routes. I'm not aware of any other route-planners that do this, though Apple Maps' new (limited) cycling directions might do.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

Jdsk
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Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby Jdsk » 18 Sep 2020, 2:41pm

Thanks, as always, Richard.

Jonathan

mikeymo
Posts: 1885
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 6:23pm

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby mikeymo » 18 Sep 2020, 6:20pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
Jdsk wrote:Anything on how specific planners do this, please?


Most cycling route-planners optimise by road class. In other words, they prefer minor roads to B roads, and B roads to A roads. This is a rough proxy for car traffic levels, but only rough (there are quiet A roads and busy unclassified roads). They also sprinkle in a number of other (factual) inputs such as surface type and climb. Google Maps and CycleStreets are examples of this.

Some route-planners add popularity to this. This is generally not the total number of cycle journeys along a particular road, but the number taken (or planned) by that planner's users. Strava, Garmin, and (to a lesser extent) RideWithGPS do this. Strava's popularity rankings, for example, are purely based on how many Strava users have logged a ride along a particular road - not the total level of cycle traffic.

cycle.travel (my site) does use real motor traffic levels, where that data is openly available (it often isn't). In other words, it prefers genuinely quiet routes. I'm not aware of any other route-planners that do this, though Apple Maps' new (limited) cycling directions might do.


Some cycle planners have strange ideas about "traffic levels" or what constitutes "busy". This is my "test" route for how much I can rely on any particular planner not to send me somewhere hopeless.

Image

I leave it as an exercise for anybody from around this part of Yorkshire to wonder what "very busy sections" might mean. Or maybe sheep and cows contribute to the busy-ness of a route? Quite apart from whether it's actually navigable on a bike, I think it's not, but it seems I'm a bit of a wimp, others think it is.

You'll be pleased to know that cycle.travel passed with flying colours by:

a. NOT sending me along that route.
b. choosing the quieter of the two obvious alternatives
c. also choosing the less hilly of the two obvious alternatives.

Any route planner that thinks, for an ordinary cyclist on an ordinary bike, that route is the best one between those two points, gets crossed off my list.

Enigmadick
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Joined: 5 Mar 2016, 11:28am

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby Enigmadick » 18 Sep 2020, 6:59pm

Cycle Travel is the "dog's b_____x" of route planning apps. No need to discuss.
ENIGMA DICK aka Richard Barrett
https://www.cicerone.co.uk/authors/richard-barrett
Use the code RB20C to get 20% off any Cicerone guidebook when you buy direct

meursault
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Joined: 15 Sep 2013, 11:31am

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby meursault » 20 Sep 2020, 2:12am

First I've heard of cycle travel. Will take a look ty.

I think I've tried all the planners so far, and how they miss the really nice lanes, I have no idea. It's the algorithms I think.

rareposter
Posts: 242
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Lowest Traffic Route?

Postby rareposter » 21 Sep 2020, 9:26am

I leave it as an exercise for anybody from around this part of Yorkshire to wonder what "very busy sections" might mean. Or maybe sheep and cows contribute to the busy-ness of a route? Quite apart from whether it's actually navigable on a bike, I think it's not, but it seems I'm a bit of a wimp, others think it is.

You'll be pleased to know that cycle.travel passed with flying colours by:

a. NOT sending me along that route.
b. choosing the quieter of the two obvious alternatives
c. also choosing the less hilly of the two obvious alternatives.

Any route planner that thinks, for an ordinary cyclist on an ordinary bike, that route is the best one between those two points, gets crossed off my list.


Google Streetview hasn't been down that so, although Strava shows it on the heatmap as having SOME cycle traffic, its route planner won't send you along it.

OP: when you say "quietest", are you willing to use towpaths / NCN / old railway lines or is it road only? The time of day that you're riding each particular section makes a big difference. Going past a school at 8.30am is likely to be insanely busy; go past at 10am and the roads will be far quieter. But that level of detail does get very tiring to map and none of the route planners will take that into account.
Similarly, old railway line routes like (say) Camel Trail are likely to be extremely busy at weekends with families and dog walkers which slows things down considerably.

This varies planner to planner, most don't take into account the time of day you'll be riding it (Google Maps does but its cycle routing isn't the best). Strava has a "popularity" rating which automatically tries to route you onto roads / trails that are more heavily used by cyclists which is OK in rural areas but it does tend to pick up things like TT courses (up and down an A-road) and rate them as being "popular".

Ultimately, when route planning it's a combination of Streetview, forcing the mapping software of whichever planner you're using to go the route you want, and running some test routes locally to see what the planner and then the GPS settings want to do. Clicking Start in LE and Finish in (say) Okehampton is not going to give you the quietest route, you will need to really break it down into almost turn by turn chunks.