Archived on 6/5/2022

TFL Journey Planner

23 Feb '22

This was a useful service, but it has got very weird lately, adding “walking time” to the beginning and end of each journey. For example here’s the result of a simple search for a journey from Forest Hill Station to London Bridge Station:

Transfer to Forest Hill Station
Journey time:
2 min

##### Step 2

Depart Forest Hill Rail Station at 15:13 via Southern to London Bridge

Southern to London Bridge

Journey time:

18 min

** Honor Oak Park Rail Station*
** Brockley Rail Station*
** New Cross Gate Rail Station*

##### Step 3

Depart London Bridge Rail Station at 15:31 via Walk to London Bridge Station

Walk to London Bridge Station

Journey time:

6 min

Arrive at London Bridge Station at 15:37

What’s going on? “Walk from London Bridge Station to London Bridge Station”?

24 Feb '22

I’ve noticed this too - I get to the station and the train’s leaving 2 mins later than the TfL ‘start time’ - for some reason it adds 2 mins magic walking time up front. Just tell me when the train is leaving and I’ll work out my own contingency plans thanks.

24 Feb '22

The journey planner has always been a bit hit and miss (often it doesn’t suggest going direct from FOH to Clapham junction)

In this case I think it is using an average figure to walk from the platforms to the entrance. It really makes sense of traveling off-peak because a 9.29 train is effectively peak depending on station size

24 Feb '22

It’s definitely got worse recently… it’s also cut the time it allows for a connecting train down to 2 mins in some cases, meaning it is impossible to make the connection. The journey back from Brighton the other week took me 1hr 45 rather than the 1hr 26mins it predicted as it wasn’t possible for any human to interchange at Norwood Junction in 2 mins…
It’s also got a weird gremlin around journey including Whitechapel, which it often lists as Abbey Road…

24 Feb '22

Hello! If possible, perhaps try Citymapper App it’s very reliable and accurate - have not had issues with it myself.

24 Feb '22

Ooh thanks that does look better!

25 Feb '22

I’ve just done this and its suggested I walk 5 mins to my local bus stop, then get a bus 1 stop, then another 5 mins walk to the station, yet the station is an 8 minute walk without the bus!.

It looks like when you type in Forest Hill it gives you lots of bus stops, rather than the train station first so if you have a bus stop selected it factors in the walking time from there instead.

National rail enquiries website is far better as it just has train stations on it.

25 Feb '22

The TfL journey planner has been like that for quite a while. At first I thought I was clicking on ‘Forest Hill’ instead of ‘Forest Hill station’, but no, I was selecting the right location and it was annoyingly adding transfer time.

I thought it had become useless for finding out departure times but from your screenshot I see that it displays the departure time if you click on the ‘View Details’ button. So I’ve learned something!

Still a badly designed website though. And why does the Cookies message require two clicks to get rid of it? I’ve never seen that on any other website.

25 Feb '22

Citymapper is far superior! And you can use it on their website not just on the app.

Also it has far better cycling routes than Google Maps, as often Google will send you down a main road rather than quieter roads with cycle paths.

1 Mar '22

As far as “official” sites go, I find a quite useful. Although I haven’t really tested bus times.

I agree the TfL website is quite clunky. Apart from the strangely added walk times, I find it takes long to load and doesn’t show you many different options in one place. It also tells you to cycle as the first option. If I want to cycle it wouldn’t cross my mind to use the TfL website.

Lastly, I don’t understand why TfL don’t offer an app based solution, considering their user numbers.

1 Mar '22

They have an app called TfL Go which integrates Journey Planner with line status and live countdown boards for buses.

1 Mar '22

I rely mostly on three apps. Go Jauntly when walking in places I don’t know well. Bus Times is very reliable. And Citymapper is great in London when I need to use mixed transport modes eg walk/bus/train combinations.

2 Mar '22

Weirdly in my experience the TfL map is pretty good for finding cycle routes - Google wanted me to bike down the Old Kent Road to get to Elephant & Castle. TfL gave me a sensible route on quiet roads and proper cycle routes. It’s still not brilliant though, does anyone have a good cycle route planning site?

CityMapper is the best option overall for other journeys!

2 Mar '22

I’ve found Cycle Streets is good for planning cycle routes. It gives you quiet, fast and balanced options.

Komoot is pretty good too and customizable, you can use the app for navigation when you’re on your bike.