Thanks for the response. I can see the changes that I made on Saturday on the map now. A monthly update of routing seems fine to me - routes are not going to change that often, so a more frequent update cycle would be a waste of resources. I will do a bit more work on the local bridleways where I know that cycling is permitted, which should sort out the local routing problems. There is probably a way of doing more systematic changes to bikes and bridleways in the UK on OSM - I know one of the active UK OSM contributors, so I will have a word with him about it.
If you are keen on maps and mapping, you might be interested in the Missing Maps project, which links OSM map development to humanitarian aid efforts - https://www.missingmaps.org/
Sorry for the delay in replying to this. The change we referred to below was to overcome an anomaly with our routing service, where bridleways are considered not suitable for pedestrians unless they are explicitly tagged as such on OSM. This doesn't affecting routing By Bike though. Updating the OSM maps to add the cycling access tags should fix any paths that won't auto-plot By Bike, but you could also change the Auto-Plot switch to On Foot if the auto-plot By Bike won't follow a particular path.
Regarding updates, our maps are updated continuously on a drip-feed, so changes made on OSM will appear on plotaroute as soon as any map tiles cached by your browser expire - this should be within 3-4 days. The routing updates are more complicated, as updating the routing graphs is a very lengthy process, so this is currently only done once a month. We can look into the possibility of making these updates more frequent, but there will always be a lag between map updates and routing updates I'm afraid.
I changed the tags on the local routes on Bridleways that I know allow bikes to bicycles=yes, so these should allow routing when plotaroute next update. I cannot tell how often the maps are updated - I can see changes on the maps that I made last year, but I can't see a way of finding out when the last update was. I guess I will have to wait and see when my latest changes appear! I've made a change to a local building, so I will be able to see when that change appears on plotaroute.
I've got the premium version, but as you say, the detail of the OSM maps is much better, so I want to get the routing issues sorted out. An optional switch is one solution, but perhaps users should also be encouraged to update the OSM maps if they have specific local knowledge. OSM depends on the local knowledge of contributors to ensure that it is as accurate as possible.
My understanding is that before the change announced by plotaroute below, walks would only autoplot where there were explicit rights for walking recorded in OSM. That has been changed such that autoplot works for walking even where rights for walking aren't recorded. However, autoplot still won't work where walking access is marked as private in OSM. From my tests, it looks like that change was only made for walking. Routes for bikes can, presumably, only be plotted where OSM included explicit rights for bicycles.
Updating OSM to include missing access rights for bicyles doesn't partcularly help because plotaroute doesn't use "realtime" OSM and cuts are taken infrequently. Plotaroute suggested below to use the premium version because then Google maps can be used for plotting. I would use premium if it fixed this problem but Google maps are no use because the level of detail for off-road paths and tracks is limited.
In an ideal world plotaroute would use more up-to-date versions of OSM and there would be a checkbox option to ignore OSM access rights and plot where no access rights are recorded or they are marked "private". I would upgrade to premium for that. If that's not possible then the best workaround may be if plotaroute will allow bike plotting where no cycle rights are recorded, although I assume it still won't plot on ways marked private. But this may need to be an option that can be turned on/off otherwise people will unwittingly plot bike routes on footpaths, etc.
Sorry to resurrect this!
I've had this problem locally too. It now works most of the time for running / walking, but not for cycling.
The comments suggest that this can be resolved by ensuring that OSM bridleways are explicitly tagged for bicycles? It does look like that is the problem locally, and as the route I am thinking of is part of the National Cycling Network, it is definitely OK for cycling.
As I am an OSM contributor, I am happy to ensure that my local routes that include bridleways are appropriately tagged where cycling is allowed. Will this resolve the routing issues, or is there more that needs to be done? I can also check this out on the OSM forums if this has not already been done. Just to be clear, for Auto-Plot to work on bridleways for running / walking and for cycling, the routes need to be tagged for pedestrian and bicyles, as apprpriate?
We've managed to overcome the problems with plotting walks or runs on UK bridleways - Auto-Plotting "On Foot" should now work on all UK bridleways, even if pedestrian access tags are missing on the OSM database.
Unfortunately its not that simple Jonathan, as we don't have that level of control over the OSM routing programs. We will have another look into how we might be able to circumvent the issue though.
Meanwhile, another option would be to consider Premium membership - Premium members have access to Google maps on the desktop route planner, so the auto-plot feature will use Google for routing when plotting on a Google map rather than OSM.
Unfortunately this does make plotaroute of limited use in many parts of the UK where public rights on highways way are poorly recorded on OSM. The AutoPlot functionality already allows us to change between Road, Bike and Foot. Presumably that works by looking at what access rights exist on OSM and using that to determine valid routes. Isn't what we need an even simpler variation where instead of checking the correct rights exist for Road/Bike/Foot, the access rights are ignored altogether? i.e. don't check for which rights exists and plotaroute would just plots on whatever path, bridleway, etc, exists? In this mode it becomes to the user's responsibility to check they can legally use the route.
Sorry Graham, we haven't found a simple solution for this yet. Bridleways currntly need to be explicity tagged as permitted for walking on OpenStreetMap to be routable with our auto-plot feature. I believe that for some countries like Germany, pedestrian access to bridleways is not allowed by default, so we'd have to find a eway of overriding this where we know the default permissions are different. We'll have another look into it.
It seems to me that all bridleways are not routable. All the green dashed paths (openstreetmap) won't let me route on them. These are publically accessible paths, for example, through Epping Forest. Is there no simple way around this?