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So Transport Direct closed in 2014 and now I am trying to find my way from Heathrow to Bristol at 19:30 or so on a (not so) bright November Monday.

  1. Searching GWR gives me results that go to Reading bus station despite their own parent company running a bus to Reading rail station adding a 13 minute walk:

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  2. Google Maps (and traveline) shows a Megabus at 7:40PM which simply doesn't exist according to Megabus (it's not that there is no space left on the date I am checking, they run roughly every two hours and there's one at 7PM surely there isn't one at 7:40PM). And I checked the map and Cabot Circus is indeed the mall next to the Megabus stop so it's the same route.

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Is there a reliable, working transit planner these days?

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The transit planner can only be as good as the information it gets from transport companies so the answer to your question seems to be, no there is not a reliable planner. I looked at http://www.traveline.info/ and got the same false information you did. You could try the national express site on this occasion http://www.nationalexpress.com/help-and-advice/tickets/about-our-timetables.aspx

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From my experience using http://www.traveline.info/ the information has always been up-to-date and to my knowledge is the only UK site to integrate bus, coach and train timetables and to offer itineraries using mixed modes of transport if appropriate.

Obviously always worth double checking with actual bus/coach/train companies own websites, where traveline can be the starting point to find out who the companies are that operate a given route.

  • This answer agrees with my personal experience. I have used it to find local buses and airport transport and in each case the company website (which they helped me find) did show the same times. And they often show options I have not tought about, like an airport bus from a train station the other direction, which did make the overal travel shorter. – Willeke Nov 1 '17 at 18:10

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