Cyclists get on the right road with new online route finder
The website, Cyclestreets.net, allows users to plot two points on a map before being given a suggested route and details of traffic levels and the difficulty of the ride.
The brainchild of two Cambridge programmers, the website is now looking for funding to help it launch as an "app" for the iPhone.
It is also calling on the city's cyclists to get in touch with suggestions as to how it can be improved to speed up journey times.
The site today won the backing of the city's transport leader, with Edinburgh aiming to have 15 per cent of journeys by bike by 2020.
Gary Bell, a member of campaign group Spokes, said the council should look at providing funding for the site as a way of helping the local authority reach its 15 per cent target.
He said: "These sort of websites work very well. Transport for London have got a similar website and it's had a direct impact on the massive growth in cycling there.
"This website shows cyclists how long a journey will take, which route to use, all the sorts of things motorists take for granted.
"When you set a target like the one the council has, you can't just expect it to happen – you have to invest.
"You get your money back in terms of savings in emissions and cuts in congestion."
Transport bosses are set to develop a cycling action plan over the next year which is likely to build on recent initiatives such as reopening the Rodney Street tunnel and the possibility of a bike-share scheme similar to those operating in cities such as Paris and Barcelona.
Its decision to sign up to the 15 per cent target was part of this long-term vision for transport in the city. However, it has yet to be decided what measures will be used to work towards the goal.
Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, the city's transport convener, said: "As a thriving and successful city, Edinburgh has to address both congestion and healthy lifestyles and, through encouraging cycling, we can do both.
"We already boast Britain's best bus company and, with the advent of the tram and integrated cycle routes, we are demonstrating continued investment in sustainable transport for the future."