New website: Your questions answered

Since the new website launched on Monday evening it has served over 6 million pages in 1 million visits from 900,000 customers. This is a little more than normal, reflecting the increased interest around the new site.

TfL website page views
Page views from first two days of new TfL website

Your feedback

We’ve also received plenty of useful feedback with the full range of opinions, from the site being great through to hopelessly flawed. In this post I’ll try and address some of your key questions and explain our thinking a little.

Site performance and links

Initially we had some performance problems, which meant the site was slow in places and certain elements did not work well. Despite numerous load and functional tests before launch we did not pick up this particular problem.

In the end it was easily resolved and good performance was restored, now mirroring what we were expecting.

Some of you were frustrated that links you previously used had been broken. Where we could we put in redirects but inevitably we missed some. We’ve added most of the ones which were causing real problems now.

Where can I find downloadable bus maps?

It’s clear from your feedback that some of you love the ‘spider’ maps and area maps, which are pdfs.

We’ve created some really nice interactive maps that show you transport links near your given location (try them in ‘Nearby’), and display live information such as bus routes and stops, and cycle hire docking stations.

However it’s clear that for some this can’t replace the original maps, so we’ll be adding these to the new site shortly as well.

Bus stops and routes in Nearby
Bus stops and routes in Nearby

I have an older phone or browser – why does it not work so well?

There is a balance to be made between offering really rich interactions (which require more modern devices and browsers) and providing a basic experience for those with older technology.

We’ve tried to get this right by ensuring that if you don’t have the very latest smartphone, the core functionality of the site will still work, although you may lose some features.

However there is a limit to which we can do this and still deliver everything in one site.  We’re looking at whether we’ve done enough for some older devices and we will be making updates where necessary to help.

Why do you have a big image on the homepage?

Often we have messages about our services and improvements which we need to share with you. This visual space enables us to get these across in a really effective way.  On a mobile it’s smaller and more subtle, but still there.

We realise that we are part of the fabric of London and we want to reflect that in the imagery that we use, not just of transport, but of the city and all that it has to offer, so you can expect to see those sorts of images over time.

We’ll also be using the space for some commercial offers, such as the ones we’re running with Google Play and New York/British Airways right now. This helps to offset the cost of running the site.

What was wrong with the old site – can I have it back?

I was part of the team that built the old site, which we launched in 2007.  At the time that was a massive change and was not immediately liked by all. Few would now argue that it was not a vast improvement over what went before.

The good news is that we’ll be continuously improving and adding to this site, just as we did with the last one. I’m sure those of you who are not convinced about the new site will grow to like it more over time.

In the meantime do please keep your comments coming – we are listening carefully. While not everything can be done immediately we’re working hard to make the site better still.

Published by

Phil Young

Phil is Head of Online at Transport for London, leading the team responsible for, Open Data, social media and intranets.

183 thoughts on “New website: Your questions answered”

  1. Journey plannner used to be good, but since the new website appeared it seems to give wrong details. It does not recognise many well known landmarks or bus stops. For example, if I enter the name of my local bus stop as a start point it assumes I have a five minute walk to get to it. I know how long it takes to get to the stop, so I want the times of the buses at that point. Why treat us as idiots, which is what this site does.


  2. The new site is ridiculous, Oakwood to Heathrow, four changes when the Piccadilly Line goes direct!!
    Yes, I know I can set options but you have to look for them, four changes to save les than one minute.
    Why does it worry me about disruption on my journey when i am traveling no where near the disruption and it is just a bundle of un-punctuated text.
    Whoever approved this should be fired, Boris next stop to ask how this ever got off the ground, ok to support new mobiles but not to the extent of abandoning common sense.
    The worst so called improvement ever.


  3. In the previous version, it took a just a few seconds to search the weekend closures. I searched the terms ‘weekend’, ‘closure’, ‘calendar’ but no luck. How can I see next 3-4 weekend’s planned closures?


      1. I appreciate that this is 11 days after you left your message, but I have just looked at the link for planned closures and it is very buggy. If i click on anything at all (say for the Distrcit Line) it just tells me about August closures on the Piccadilly Line, even if I go as far ahead as September. If you need a hand testing it, let me know.


  4. Searching tfl information on Google website works better than the tfl website, the calendar is here:
    Not sure how much functionality is lost in this transformation – a mapping 2-pager will be helpful where all functionality that was available in the previous version is mapped to the location within the new website.


  5. Sorry, I don’t know where else to post this.. At the moment there are planned works being undertaken on the picaddilly line. Ok, no problem. In the mornings, I like to give a quick glance over the tube situation before I leave for work. The headline for P. Line simply says ‘part closure’. To save me having to click the link to find out what kind of part-closure it is, would it be possible for you to include the word ‘planned’ before the words ‘part closure’? It would just save me having to click through to the explanation link. Thank you.



    1. +1
      Great idea, distinguishing between planned versus unplanned closures would be very useful.

      The new website is an improvement over the old one when accessing it on a (modern) mobile device but where has the useful “share journey by email” option gone?


  6. Hello. Could something be done to change the maps on the new tfl site. For any walking parts of a journey it’s nearly impossible to read the street names of the suggested routes as the line marking the route obscures them. I don’t recall this happening on the old site. It all looks great otherwise but this seems like rather a fundamental error. Many thanks.


  7. Just did a search on the journey planner to travel from Victoria to King’s Cross St Pancras. Pretty simple journey – I just wanted to check how long it takes. It spent about a minute ‘fetching results’, then came back with the message ‘Journey planner could not find any results to your search, please try again.’ (and a placeholder for an advertisement). It is clearly not working! (Please fix it! Also, when I start typing Victoria, why would Royal Victoria come up first as a suggestion?)


  8. Is is impossible to apply for a service delay refund if you have a paper ticket. The ‘my refunds’ section when you click to apply you simply are presented with a page that says – “Sorry, we were unable to process your request. This is because our server is experiencing technical difficulties preventing it from responding to requests.

    Please call TfL Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 for further assistance or go back to…”

    I called in Thursday and was told its due to traffice about the contactless cards. Called Friday and even today, monday its still not working. WHY NOT??


  9. Dear TFL- When you go to your TFL site, and click weekend to see what tube lines are disrupted over any weekend the map that used to work does not ever show up, and instead a message saying: ‘Our Data Service is currently unavailable, we are trying to fix this, please come back later’ shows up where the map is. This has been the same for about 5months now. Can you advise how to look at the map? This is the same on my mobile, mac, laptop and work computer….I am sure you can shed some light. Many thanks. Ruth This is your link that shows no map:


  10. Just did a search on the journey planner to travel from Queen Road Peckham to Wembley. The weekend status update showed that Overground branch to West Croydon/Crystal Palace was closed from Surrey Quays-this means the branch to clapham junction was working. The web a minute ‘fetching results’, then came back with the message ‘Journey planner could not find any results to your search, please try again.’ THIS IS NOT WORKING CAN WE HAVE OUR OLD SITE BACK-THIS WAS SIMPLE, QUICKER AND CLEAR.

    Note: I decided to ring the customer services only to be told that Claphan Junction branch wasn’t working which wasn’t true. Even if this was the case, why did it not give me options for the buses as the old one would do?-so even customer service had no idea on how to use this web!


  11. I have just tried to use this site for the second time and as before have discovered it is inaccurate and difficult to use. The old site was, at times stubborn but you got there in the end. The new site is inaccurate and of no real practical use as it fails to recognise addresses and earlier this week sent me to a station a good distance away from my required destination. I followed the directions as I believed that TFL must know its own business…. how naïve. I discovered a working underground station exactly opposite my destination. I will be using google maps in future they are much more helpful and informative.


  12. I absolutely hate the new website. It gave me wrong details when I planned my journey on 14.12 (Sunday) as it showed me a 9.34am train from Loughborough Junction but when I got to the station there was no trains before 10am!!! I was late to work.
    The old web was more clear and connections were easy to understand.


    1. Hi there, can you let us know what setup you are using and whether this happens all the time for you or just at one specific moment. We’ve tried the same journey and always get something back. If you can give us some more detail we’ll take a look.


  13. For as long as I have had my Oyster card, I have never been able to view the card online, and have never been able to top up online. All ever receive is this:

    Sorry, we were unable to process your request. This is because our server is experiencing technical difficulties preventing it from responding to requests.

    Please call TfL Customer Services on 0343 222 1234 for further assistance or go back to My Account.

    Now either this has been going on for 3 months or more. Or something is definitely wrong.

    I’ve tried accessing from a variety of places on a variety of browsers with no luck


  14. A request: For bus users,could we please have many more lit-up timetables at busy busstops? Older people
    don’t all have Iphones, that infomation is most useful, it may give you choices, and there is something. to.look
    at and pass the time when waiting. It would be great if this could be done. Thank you, Catrina Markwick, a
    very frequent bus user


  15. I’ve bee trying to get the hang of Mystops on the tfl countdown buses live page. Is there a guide? I want to save a list of several stops I use often. And to be able to retrieve them the next day


  16. Every time I log on during an evening and change to change my auto top up payment message, i get the following message:
    “Sorry, we were unable to process your request. This is because our server is experiencing technical difficulties preventing it from responding to requests.”

    It seems your server experiences problems every evening.


  17. what’s wrong with the journey planner. I’m using firefox on android and when you begin to type a start or destination station name it keeps doubling up the letters i’m typing. I can’t even do a backspace because that simply copies the letters i’ve typed so far. It’s completely useless!!


  18. This seems like a new bug that has only recently started to happen, but Journeyplanner no longer recognises St Pancras Station! It offers me lots of other options, including St Pancras Hospital and St Pancras Way but not London’s ninth busiest station. Seems very odd and it means that journey’s always fail to select the direct Thamesllink option – instead sending me via King’s Cross underground to Farringdon or Elephant and Castle


  19. I also regularly receive the message about “technical difficulties” when trying to read my journey history. Presumably the server is just overloaded – so why on earth don’t you say so?


  20. Can only occasionally log in to the Oyster online website – I usually get the old “Sorry, we were unable to process your request. This is because our server is experiencing technical difficulties preventing it from responding to requests”.
    About time you were running this on AWS or similar isn’t it – let you cope with peaks in demand !!


  21. I am constantly frustrated using TFL journey planner, because of technical glitches. I was further frustrated to find that when I looked for help on the TFL website, although there is help and FAQ in the ‘Help and Contact’ page for every other TFL issue, there is nothing for technical problems.

    The problems I repeatedly encounter are:
    i. When I plan a journey and select the option to arrive at a certain time at my destination, if I need to make changes to that journey, when I select ‘update journey’, it automatically reverts back to the default position of ‘leaving’ and returns the incorrect results. I then have to edit the journey back to the ‘arrive’ position
    ii. If I update ‘travel options & accessibility’ to go via a destination (in this circumstance Balham), when I first run the journey, journey planner has no problem recognising Balham. If after the results are returned, I want a later journey for some inexplicable reason it brings up a page saying that it found more than one location matching Balham (this is in addition to again changing the criteria from ‘arrive’ to ‘leave’)

    I end up spending a considerable time getting more and more annoyed as I keep having to re-edit my journey to get some sensible results.


  22. it would be really nice if price for the journey could be displayed, next to the results when I plan a journey on TFL website. I know there is a single far finder option tucked in somewhere in fare and payments!


  23. I am not able to type a word in the destintion search fields at ALL. Keyboard goes crazy!
    It does not work on Firefox browser on my phones.
    Why is there no Firefox support?


    1. Hi Paul, can you let me know what phone you have? Ideally also what version of Android is running on it? We’ve had some other reports of this but none that we’re able to reproduce yet.


  24. I was not able to touch in due to a broken card reader in DLR-land.
    But did touch out when leaving the line, at Bank.

    However, even though the record shows ‘unknown touch in’ at the start of the journey, it does not come up in the “unterminated journeys” section of the website.
    Hence I was not able to correctly set the journey start-point and instigate a refund for overcharging – I had to send an email instead.

    This looks like an oversight ?


  25. Why is it so difficult to download journey history, it takes ages to load the page and then you get this “Due to the current high demand for Journey History data” – (could we not get higher bandwidth or is it another cost cutting exercise) . It use to be much easier and quicker before the update.


  26. As someone from out of town that really uses my Oyster cards I like to keep track of their usage after trips. I’ve tried for two days to get my journey history since the weekend and the website hangs or kicks me out.repeatedly. Even the my account page won’t hold the display of the card details long enough for me to click the journey history link!, this is a perfectic system for something that seems to randomly charge £20 but has not easy contact method when it behaves like this. Not had these problems in the past!.


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