Location services

I’ve received a number of questions asking how best to get location services to work on our website.

There are various features in the site which can make use of your location to save time and help you find your way around;

  • Journey Planner – Has a ‘Use my location’ option when you start to enter a ‘from’ or ‘to’ point as part of planning a journey.
  • ‘Nearby’ – Starts by trying to use your location when you select Nearby from the homepage. It can then show you all forms of transport around you with live arrivals and status.
  • Find a bus stop – This offers a ‘Use my location’ option when you try to find a bus stop from the Buses landing page.

There are various other places where this is offered, for example in the Maps area.

What do I need to do to get location services working?

The website uses the location services of your phone or computer. Typically this requires you to be using a mobile phone connection or wifi. It will not normally work well (or at all) on a corporate office network.

The device needs to have location services enabled. In the case of Android devices and iPhones this can be done in the phone settings.

Once that’s done selecting ‘Nearby’ on our website should bring up a message in your browser asking if you will allow your location to be used. On iPhones this appears in the middle of the screen.

Location message on Nearby
Location message on Nearby


On Android devices it appears at the foot of the screen and can sometimes be obscured by the keyboard. If it is obscured then select the ‘back’ button and the keyboard should disappear leaving you to respond to the message.

‘Nearby’ and other location elements should now work. You may get asked for permission again from time to time depending on your browser.

What if it’s still not working?

On some browsers we’ve seen a problem where accessing the site over https (an encrypted connection) location services (and some other mapping elements) do not work correctly.

This can be resolved by accessing the site over http (unencrypted) – using the link http://www.tfl.gov.uk.

From time to time stored website pages and cookies can cause a problem. You can clear these through your browser settings on an Android phone, within settings choose ‘clear browsing data’. On an iPhone you need to go into the general settings of the phone and find those for Safari to ‘clear history and website data’.

Clear history and data from Safari

We really value your feedback – particularly if you have issues using location services within the website. You can leave your comments on this blog.

Published by

Phil Young

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

2 thoughts on “Location services”

  1. About a year ago, a blog post mentioned the concept of “Hub Stations”, which would aggregate some of the data you talk about here for stations like King’s Cross / St Pancras.
    I can’t see any reference to these on the site. Has this feature been removed? Or am I just looking in the wrong places?


  2. Congratulations on the easier-to-use TfL website, and thank you very much for inviting feedback about issues using location services.

    On a closely-related matter, I would like the option of seeing the location of Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations when I look at central London on Google maps. (If I could hover over the docking station’s icon to get its real-time bikes/spaces status, then that would be “icing on the cake”.)

    Thank you.


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