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I need to plan a travel in Greater London (within the M25) over multiple destinations via buses and by walking.

Many online tools, including Google Maps and TFL website, enable finding the best routes between two or more points in the city (with some flexible options such as 'with least walking' or 'with least transfer'). However, their flexibility is still limited. They don't support a highly-customized journey, e.g. a mix of taking buses and walking between destinations.

There is some large printable street maps with buses information in the TFL website but it is not easy to recognize and track routes of buses. Also, there is an interactive bus map that shows only one bus route at a time (it would be great if it shows more than one).

Is there any interactive tool/map that enables 'manual', highly-customized planning of journeys based on mix of buses and walking?

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do you mean a tool that for example, lets you plot a route from A to B using only buses and foot, or do you want one that allows you to plot multiple points? –  Mark Mayo Apr 22 '13 at 6:10
    
Lets think of one part of the journey. A is London Bridge Station and B is Hyde Park Corner Station: travel by bus and foot, with least transfer possible. Google Maps` suggests several two-buses choices (e.g. Bus 40 and Bus 148). I want to take only one bus. Therefore, I will walk north to Monument Station and take Bus 15 to Piccadilly Circus and then walk to Hyde Park Corner Station. This 'maneuver' requires addition of empirical walking diameter around the start and end of the journey and find the potential buses routes from A (+ 1 Km diameter) to B (+ 1 Km). –  Orion Apr 22 '13 at 7:00
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4 Answers

It's iPhone/Android only, but I find Citymapper easily the best routing tool for London. It does support mixed mode journeys, and there is a limited ability to customise the modes of travel - for example, I have done mixed bus/walking journeys with it in the past. I don't know if it allows you to customise the journey to the extent you want, but it does allow you to pick, for example, "Rain Safe" (least amount of walking possible).

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Good timing - I am off to London tomorrow and will check this out. –  Rory Alsop Apr 22 '13 at 15:38
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You can use Google Map Engine lite.

You can create maps, draw into it and import other data from Google. More info can be found on the help page. Google has the complete bus schedules of London. You can see that if you click on any of the bus station icons and plan a transit with public transport and choose "bus" as one of the options.

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This seems to be a platform to draw custom maps, rather than a routing tool. Maybe I should be more clear about the word 'manual' in the question. –  Orion Apr 22 '13 at 7:26
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I don't think the exact tool you are after exists, mainly because the bus network is just too complicated. To start with, people in London tend to use the tube and rail for longer journeys, and only use buses for local routes; and this is what the available maps are optimized for. E.g. the tfl bus maps allow you to select a bus stop and see what buses go from there. There are two types of tfl printable maps, the first ones are the ones you can find on bus stops, with all the buses going from there. The other ones are big maps with all the buses in a given area of London (5 areas). These are not at all interactive, but will probably be the most useful for manual planning. It used to be possible to obtain these on bus stations free of charge (a few years ago at least).

You can also use the Tfl journey planner: in the advanced options you can untick all the transport types you are not interested in, change the walking speed and maximum walking time. It is anything but manual planning though....

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I use the (Android) app London Transport Pro for things like this. (free version: London Transport Live)

It's basically Google Maps, but with every bus stop shown for browsing. Prod a bus stop, and it tells you what buses are arriving there, when they are expected to arrive (live info), and where they go (I don't think Citymapper lets you browse bus stops like this). So, you can browse for bus stops going the right way, then see where their buses go and if it's close enough.

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Prod a bus and prod the 'pin' button, and it draws that bus route on the map (like Citymapper) so you can see exactly where it goes.

Tip: Look at which side of the road each bus stop is on to see if it's going your way (and remember it's driving on the left).


It's also really useful for telling you when the next bus(es) are expected to arrive. Quite accurate (as accurate as TFL where it gets its data).

It also has a journey planner based on TFL's where you can turn options like bus, tube, cycle on and off. In theory, you can pin these routes to the map like above, but that seems buggy at time of writing... The main strength of the app is browsing bus stops and possible routes to figure out your own best route.

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