End of Transport Direct website criticised by Campaign for Better Transport

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Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has criticised the Government’s decision to close the Transport Direct website on 30 September.

Transport Direct was the only website to allow people planning a journey to compare journey times, transport modes, prices and environmental impact across the entire country, according to CBT.

However the Department for Transport (DfT) says it has reviewed Transport Direct and found that equivalent travel information services are now widely available online from several other sources.

Transport Direct was launched in 2004 as the first journey planner to cover England, Scotland and Wales. Since then, it has served more than 160 million travel information requests, as well as helping spectators plan their routes to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In the past few years, the government has worked with transport operators to make timetable data freely available to web developers. As a result, a number of journey planning websites have emerged, offering similar services to Transport Direct, such as:

  • Cyclestreets
  • Google maps
  • RAC route planner (for car journey planning)
  • AA route planner (for car journey planning)
  • Traveline
  • Traveline south east
  • walkit.com

These provide information such as:

  • National journey planners for public transport, car and cycle
  • Rail and coach fares information
  • Maps of routes, areas and interchanges.

Although the DfT will continue to take an active interest in journey planning and the department will also assist others in the provision of comprehensive, accurate travel information services, CBT is calling for the Government to support a comprehensive, high-quality replacement for Transport Direct, and deliver on its promise to “work with information owners to remove restrictions on commercial use of data so that it can be more readily shared.”