Transport Direct criticised again

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yorkie

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/4313892.stm
The Department of Transport (DfT) has said its online journey planner is "98% accurate" despite a researcher being told to walk across water for a route.

A Which? magazine report said the new Transport Direct website advised its reporters to take indirect routes, adding miles to their journeys.

It also reported that the multi-million pound system "trebled" the cost of one route by not using the cheapest option.

The DfT said it would investigate and rectify the faults identified by Which?

'Double checking routes'

Earlier this year, Nick Illsley, chief executive of Transport Direct, told BBC South Transport Correspondent Paul Clifton the website had "had a fair number of data errors" but a lot of the problems had been "solved".

Mr Illsley said: "Coding information for every bus stop and all door-to-door journey times has never been done before.

"141 local authorities have now put details into the system - every bus stop on every bus route has been entered individually.

"In the metropolitan areas the data is now pretty good, though we're less reliable in the shires."

Transport Direct, which employs 14 staff, was launched on 31 December.

The government started the website to help encourage greater use of public transport.

'Simplest and cheapest journey'

Mr Illsley expects the total bill for the system to reach about £40m - most of the work is outsourced.

The Which? report said a trip between Southsea, Portsmouth and Ryde on the Isle of Wight was listed on the website as a 75-minute journey by bus, train and ferry.

But "a hovercraft journey between the two places would take just 10 minutes", according to Which?

The magazine said the website also listed a seven-minute walk as "the best route" between Yoker in Glasgow and nearby Renfrew but "failed" to mention that 200 metres of the "walk" went across the River Clyde and would require a ferry journey.

The publication also said Transport Direct advised taking a train to Waterloo, a tube to Paddington and then the Heathrow Express to travel from Woking in Surrey and Heathrow airport.

Which? said this journey would cost £23.70 compared with the £8 charged by the Railair coach link.

The magazine report advised readers to "double-check elsewhere" to ensure they embark on the "simplest or cheapest route".
It's still not fixed, although it's not as bad as it used to be (Click here for an article by Roger Ford.) The cost was up to £16.7m by this time last year, it must surely be more now?

I never use it, I use this instead. It isn't perfect but it's better than Transport Direct.

You can try the multi-million pound website at:
http://www.transportdirect.info/TransportDirect/en/

I gave Yoker to Renfrew a try and it did indeed tell me to walk over the Clyde.

I tried Barton-on-Humber to Hessle (basically one side of the Humber bridge to the other) and it said the fare is £22.90 for a single! :lol: But, "Rail replacement / Bus link Barton-on-Humber to Hull Fares are included in table above", well that's okay then ;) It said the journey time is 39 mins, by going into Hull and back out again. It could probably be walked in less time for £0.
 
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I tried it recently to information on journey details for my sister going to UWIC from Cardiff Central. It came up with information alright, but my sister went the next day and was told that the buses it provided information on 'no longer ran that way' or something. Indeed, she was told no buses went there at all! That's a lie for a start, as heart-of-wessex and I got (I think) route 2 to Colchester Avenue for the Model Railway Show there in February 2004!

It seemed to be reliable enough when I checked it for Swansea to Surbiton.
 

yorkie

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FGWFan said:
It seemed to be reliable enough when I checked it for Swansea to Surbiton.
It seems okay for rail-only journeys. It falls down where buses or walks are involved!

I recall Evil_hippo planning a journey that told him to walk between the extreme south end of platform 5 at Carlisle, over the tracks that lead to platform 2, and climb over a fence... :lol: I think the problem was that it didn't know where the station entrance is, so just chose a random point!

I also planned a bus journey where it told me to wait 15 mins for a long-distance coach from one bus stand to another bus stand, in order to change from one stand to another instead of walking about 100 metres or something :lol:

Also I find that if you plan a journey of a certain length (maybe half a mile), instead of walking (10 mins) it may tell you to walk in a different direction for about 8 mins, wait for a bus, get a bus to somewhere a bit closer to your destination, then walk for another 8 mins. And no, I am not making this up! :lol:
 
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