UK Journey Planner
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Sep 23, 2013 6:06 AM Last Post By: markluthar
Sep 7, 2013 11:42 PM
UK Journey PlannerMy wife and I are arriving Heathrow 10th Oct 2013, our second trip, and this time we feel a bit braver and intend using the trains for day trips from London.
We're familiar with using the London Journey Planner and the National Rail site at: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ which are both ok for rail only.
I've seen but not used the site: http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/Home.aspx and wondered what others thought of it.
We're tempted to not use a hire car when other transport options exist, so the Transport Direct site looks ok at first glance. Experience of others using this would be great.
We'll also be taking an Android smart phone with a pre-paid SIM to give us a minimum of Data and calls to use the navigation facilities mainly.
Once again London is fairly well catered for with phone Apps like TripAdvisor and other Tube and train & bus Apps, but what would folks recommend for journey planner apps outside London please ?
The Google play store is seemingly full of Android planner apps, enough to give a bloke brain fade before starting out, so I thought I might pose the question.
Sep 8, 2013 12:26 AM
1Well I thought that I would give http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/Home.aspx a try so I put in Watford to Heathrow Airport as I do it every day. Straight around the M25 or 724 bus. After a few minutes it gave up and said that it couldn't find any options.
If it can't cope a 20 mile easy journey I can't see it managing with something that was actually difficult.
Sep 8, 2013 3:42 AM
2I've heard similar comments about the transport direct site before, too. All the train operators have their own sites - and often the best bargains are there too - while for regional bus services, the bigger companies have their sites, but usually the region (county) have comprehensive websites too, so to take one at random, if you googled " North Yorkshire bus services" you would find http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=11074 which gives you just about everything you could think of in the area.
So unless you are intent on visiting the more rural parts of Britain public transport both bus and train offer good options. If you give us some clues about where you want to go, I'm sure plenty of people here will help you find the way!
Sep 8, 2013 6:48 AM
Sep 8, 2013 1:08 PM
4I looked at http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk/se/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en&timeOffset=15 and put in Alex2306's Watford to Heathrow. In barely a minute it came up with the options shown, including the 724 bus.
Sep 8, 2013 2:14 PM
Sep 8, 2013 4:06 PM
6Thanks for the comments from everyone, and your points are well made; So Transport Direct gets the flick.
We'd thought of a nice day trip to Brighton, starting early of course, then maybe to a coastal town in Dorset and perhaps Cornwall. On our last trip to Brighton we had a hire car, and thought at the time that we would have been far better without it, so the congestion and pressure of limited time didn't improve our day that's for sure.
I like to pre-plan as much as possible especially when you don't have a hire car, that's why the night before we'd go over our route, where to catch buses after the train, which streets to walk etc etc. That's why we particularly liked the London travel planner, and Transport Direct looked a real winner for our next trip. But as others have kinda suggested there is no one route planner for everything that you can rely on anyway.
Hampton Court and Windsor we did via train on our last trip and we loved each day really as trains for Tasmania are a thing of the past, so it's fantastic for us to travel that way. In saying this though we found the train journeys expensive once you leave London that is.
I've played with the Travelines site and like the look and feel of it, so this will go in as a bookmark.
Alex2306 you aren't on your own dealing with early risers, our youngest second son is a shocker!
Thanks everyone for your nice comments, and sorry for the slight delay in replying. I might have some further queries as they occur to me.
Dave in Tasmania
Sep 9, 2013 6:29 AM
7If you're mostly using the train, use nationalrail.co.uk to plan. You can play around with arrival & departure times, and whether it's cheaper to buy singles or returns. It will then take you to the site you need to buy tickets from.
Couple of points: some popular day trips from London, it's almost as cheap (and much more convenient) to buy tickets on the day. Cambridge or Brighton for an example, I'd tend just to buy an off-peak day return at the station after 9.30am.
Some places - Bath for example - are much more expensive. In this case, it's cheaper to buy advance tickets on line, but be warned: these are only valid on the specified train. If you miss that train, you'll have to pay full price on any other train.
Sep 9, 2013 7:02 AM
8Southern have advance tickets you purchase on line for just £5 for going to Brighton on a specified off peak service.
Take note there are lots of cross country routes, not everything has to start and end in London. Southampton to Cardiff for example.
On the phone, it is very easy to get a local UK sim on arrival as long as your phone is unlocked. Call rates are significantly cheaper from UK telcos e.g. O2 or EE than taking a Telstra or Optus sim. Australian mobile PAYG sim cards are a rip off at home or away
Sep 23, 2013 6:06 AM
9It's great that you are taking a Smartphone with you, It will really make your trip easier. It will help you to get public transit directions, look up restaurants, and get other info on the fly. Make sure you have an unlocked phone and get a local SIM card. There are many providers like PrePaymania http://goo.gl/O0O8R, Worldsim, 0044 which provides Sim Card anywhere in the world. They only charge for shipping. Cheers !!
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