Thursday, 24 April 2014

Website Review: London Bus Routes

Screenshot of the Front page of London Bus Routes website
London Bus Routes is a website that features timetables for bus routes that serves in London.  Here you can find a timetable for your local bus route in London. The website pages were originally designed for Microsoft Internet Explorer, but it gives a retro feel that your visiting a website with less graphics due to slow dial up technology over a decade ago. Another positive thought that the pages on this website load lot quicker under a broadband connection. This website is maintained by Robert Munster in which he works as a bus schedulecompiler for one of the major London Bus operators. His website is not affiliated to Transport for London or any of the bus operators.

Bus Routes page
On the Bus Routes page it has a list of routes for the London Bus service and some commercial routes (in which will be mentioned as ‘Non-TfL’ in red) which goes into the London boundary. The routes are categorised into main daytime network, Night buses, mobility routes, school routes and even tram services. On the first column it have the bus routes listed on the next column it tells you where the bus goes from and it journeys to areas in London as well where the route terminates, third column mentions the company that operates the route.

Example of the timetable page for a bus route
So for example, I clicked on route 108 which gives me the timetable for the route. It gives me the option whenever I can see the timetable on the Saturday by clicking on the Saturday button. Then it gives me the timetable for the route 108’s Saturday service.

Example of the PDF printable timetable for a London Bus route
Also you can print out the timetable by clicking on the Printable full PDF version. You need to have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer or on your smartphone/tablet device. Then it gives you a timetable in printable format. It looks like the one what you see at your local bus stop.

Operational details page
It’s not just the timetables, it also contains the operational details for London Bus routes. It have a table which list the bus routes and mention what bus types it uses and the PVR (Peak Vehicle Requirement) to tell how many buses the route need to operate. Also it mentions the garage code what garage the route is operated from, the length of the route in miles and kilometres, the length of the route it takes in minutes and the frequency of the route like every 6 minutes for a bus when your waiting for a Route 24 bus.

Service changes page
The Service changes shows the changes being made to the London bus routes, for example it show you the changes which is going to be made for your bus routes like a new timetable and the new fleet of buses for the route. It mentions the expected date to show you when the changes will occur.
You can click on the routes near to the top and it takes you down to the page to the route you clicked on.
Diversion on the service changes page
Also when you scroll down it shows you the diversions and it mentions the date when it occurs and when the diversion end. It also shows you where the route will be diverted towards and gives you the reason why the diversion occurred.

Garages page
The website has a garages page which shows you a list of garages that operate the London Bus services. It is categorised by the bus franchise company like Go Ahead or Stagecoach, next to the company name it shows you the Peak Vehicle Requirement the company operates. Also in brackets it shows you how much of the London Bus network it operates, for example Go Ahead London which currently operates 23.98% of the London bus network.
Below the franchise name it split into companies which are responsible for the garages like Blue Triangle Buses Ltd. which is part of Go-Ahead group. it also shows the address of where their offices is held which is usually at their garage also it shows the PVR of buses it operates from the company and the percentage of the London bus operation it form part of.
Underneath it, it shows you the garage code, if you scroll up to the webpage it lists the garage codes down. On the side of the buses it usually have a garage code like BW for Bow garage, when you click on BW it takes you to the details for the Bow garage. It shows you the address, the routes it operate, and the PVR of buses it operates.
London Bus Routes on Wayback Machine
The website dates far back as 2001 as what I seen by using the InternetArchive Wayback Machine. So you might be interested to check their historical sites and visit the bus operations page to show what buses your route previously used and the peak vehicle requirement the route had operated.

Timetable page viewed with Android on Firefox browser

Back on the main page, it have a link for the timetables and beside it, it says “This page is designed to be suitable for viewing on smartphones.” So I clicked on the page with Firefox on my Android smartphone and it requires me to zoom in, in order to see the route numbers.

Lastly, I do like the website as it holds London Bus information like timetables, operations, garage information and service changes. It does appeal to many people like passengers wanting to find a timetable for their bus route and such. The operations page does appeal to bus enthusiasts as it show the bus types which the route uses. Also the garages page which the passengers can find the route and the address for the garage to visit there for lost property. I say this site is one of my favourites and I am glad to write a review for it.

Thanks for reading.  

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