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Google maps inaccurate

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johnnychips

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There has been a thread about the demise of Traveline recently, and many people suggested that it was irrelevant as Google Maps could be used instead.

I went walking on the Norfolk coast today and found a bus from Happisburgh to Stalham on Google Maps at 1650, also on bustimes.org. It was Sanders bus 34 and irritatingly their website wouldn’t let me download a PDF timetable.

Anyway, the bus stop at Walcott (about two miles before Happisburgh) displayed totally different times, but it looked old and rain-worn so I didn’t bother.

There was a thunderstorm so I was like a drowned rat when I got to Happisburgh. The bus didn’t come, so I decided I would have to walk to North Walsham - six miles in the dark. However, just as I left the village, a bus came and stopped for me. The driver stopped and explained he was ‘setting down only’ but kindly took me to Stalham.

According to Google maps there was a bus from there at 1731 to North Walsham. That didn’t come, and I think it was actually at 1715.

I wonder how this happens? Rant over. Just about warmed up now.
 
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carlberry

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There has been a thread about the demise of Traveline recently, and many people suggested that it was irrelevant as Google Maps could be used instead.

I went walking on the Norfolk coast today and found a bus from Happisburgh to Stalham on Google Maps at 1650, also on bustimes.org. It was Sanders bus 34 and irritatingly their website wouldn’t let me download a PDF timetable.

Anyway, the bus stop at Walcott (about two miles before Happisburgh) displayed totally different times, but it looked old and rain-worn so I didn’t bother.

There was a thunderstorm so I was like a drowned rat when I got to Happisburgh. The bus didn’t come, so I decided I would have to walk to North Walsham - six miles in the dark. However, just as I left the village, a bus came and stopped for me. The driver stopped and explained he was ‘setting down only’ but kindly took me to Stalham.

According to Google maps there was a bus from there at 1731 to North Walsham. That didn’t come, and I think it was actually at 1715.

I wonder how this happens? Rant over. Just about warmed up now.
Google Maps and bustimes get their data from Traveline. According to bustimes there is a bus from Happisburgh at 16.51, arrive 17.26, set down only and on Saunders's site this stop dosent exist but does show the bus getting to Stalham at 17.26 so it's hard to see how people actually find out about the set down facility from that! I suspect Google ignore the 'set down only' bit and just show the time. I cant recommend Google Maps for this kind of thing because it rarely shows you enough detail, as this case proves.
 

johnnychips

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^ Yes Carl. Incidentally I just can’t download Sanders PDFs from their website but this may be just me. But the timetables on bus stops are also wrong - or right? Is this their responsibility or that of the council?
 

duncombec

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The Sanders website has to be one of the oddest I have seen! I could download a PDF (it auto-downloads, rather than opening in the browser), but the odd timetable drop-down by stop is certainly a new one on me!

They suggest there is no bus at 16:51 from Happisburgh - at least not that would pick you up. The 16:15 from North Walsham runs as normal to Ostend, then set down only on request to Stalham. Had you been in Walcott or Ostend, you probably wouldn't have had any issue. As @carlberry says, I think this is a case where Google have put the expected time in and not made clear it is set-down only.

As for the bus stops, that depends on who is responsible for them in that part of Norfolk. It could be the operator, in which case a politely-worded comment would probably see it changed, or it could be the responsibility of the council, in which case a politely-worded comment might see it changed, or it might still be wrong next time you are there in a few years time.
 

carlberry

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^ Yes Carl. Incidentally I just can’t download Sanders PDFs from their website but this may be just me. But the timetables on bus stops are also wrong - or right? Is this their responsibility or that of the council?
I didn't have a problem with the PDF. Stops vary (and as you said an old looking timetable is unlikely to be useful); often the council has taken over responsibility, sometimes actually preventing operators from updating them, sometimes it's the operator however they often appear reluctant to advertise their services too much. This year of course whoever deals with it will just say 'Covid' as if that excuses everything.
 

175mph

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There has been a thread about the demise of Traveline recently, and many people suggested that it was irrelevant as Google Maps could be used instead.

I went walking on the Norfolk coast today and found a bus from Happisburgh to Stalham on Google Maps at 1650, also on bustimes.org. It was Sanders bus 34 and irritatingly their website wouldn’t let me download a PDF timetable.

Anyway, the bus stop at Walcott (about two miles before Happisburgh) displayed totally different times, but it looked old and rain-worn so I didn’t bother.

There was a thunderstorm so I was like a drowned rat when I got to Happisburgh. The bus didn’t come, so I decided I would have to walk to North Walsham - six miles in the dark. However, just as I left the village, a bus came and stopped for me. The driver stopped and explained he was ‘setting down only’ but kindly took me to Stalham.

According to Google maps there was a bus from there at 1731 to North Walsham. That didn’t come, and I think it was actually at 1715.

I wonder how this happens? Rant over. Just about warmed up now.
Hat off to the driver for doing the decent thing for you. :)
 
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