The districts of Borken, Coesfeld, Steinfurt and Warendorf with their 65 towns and municipalities as well as the city of Münster have jointly invested around 1.5 million euros in the cycle path network over the past three years. With the advice and support of Münsterland e.V., a new junction system with a route length of around 4000 kilometres was created.
"For cyclists, being on the road is now even more comfortable," says Dr. Olaf Gericke, spokesman for the Münsterland district councillors. "The measures, 70 percent of which were funded by the state of NRW, are impressive: More than 670 cycle route signs at crucial junctions throughout the Münsterland have been supplemented with red signs - so-called junction hats. Attractive tours of between five and 70 kilometres in length can be experienced on more than 300 circular routes."
The comprehensible and more easily communicated junction signposting replaces the circular route network that has existed for 20 years and previously formed the basis for tourist cycle route guidance in Münsterland. Thanks to the new signposting, cyclists can now find their way around even better and also spontaneously set out on individual tours on the spot, without prior planning and without internet access, using a sequence of numbers. This allows them to flexibly put together their own routes - depending on their mood, fitness and time.
At important junctions, overview boards provide information about the surrounding network. On the 450 or so boards, QR codes can be used to call up interesting facts about the region.
The idea of integrating junctions into cycle path networks originated in the Netherlands and has now become established in almost all regions of North Rhine-Westphalia and beyond. It was taken up for the Münsterland region by the border municipalities in the district of Borken. District Administrator Dr. Kai Zwicker, who is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Münsterland e.V., reports numerous positive responses from citizens. "I am very pleased that, following our initiative at the time, the entire Münsterland can now be experienced via a hub system."
The Münsterland network merges seamlessly with the networks of neighbouring regions: Borderless tours according to nodes are thus possible to Emsland, Grafschaft Bentheim, the Dutch regions of Twente and Achterhoek as well as in NRW to the districts of Kleve, Wesel, Recklinghausen, Unna, Hamm and Soest.
Detailed cycling maps are available in bookshops for planning the next tours. Useful and free aids for route planning are also available from the tourist information offices in Münsterland. The practical overview map "Radregion Münsterland erleben" (Experience the Münsterland cycling region) shows the Münsterland-wide network and explains the tourist offers. The handlebar tags, which are also available, are also helpful. The sequence of numbers to be followed can be noted on the tags, which are also issued by the tourist information offices.
Those who want to use routing functions online or on the basis of an app can, for example, use the NRW cycle route planner or Dutch apps such as "Fietsknoop". The Münsterland tour planner of Münsterland e.V. is currently being thoroughly revised and will soon be available including junction route planning.
More information is available at www.muensterland.com/radregion.
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