Where to find live public transport information
When using public transport it is one thing to know the timetables and when the next services are scheduled to arrive but it is another thing to know when the service you want will actually arrive. The boats tend to be good at running to schedule as there are less obstacles in their way but trains and buses can suffer more delays, especially bus services in peak season as the roads can be busy with slow traffic delaying everything.
There are a number of internet resources for finding these live times and tracking your transport service. Following the service operators on social media should highlight any major issues but that doesn’t normally include any shorter delays. The following is a list of some known resources for each transport mode across the Lake District. Any reference to social media is Twitter as that seems to be the platform most operators primarily use.
A very good live bus tracker can be found at www.bustimes.org. This appears to include all buses provided by all operators. You can see detailed scheduled timetables including every stop along the way and a map of each service route. It doesn’t show the expected times of arrival but there is a map showing live bus locations across the area which appears to be updated very regularly, no longer than a few minutes, so you can get a very good idea when your bus will actually arrive. You can see when the last update was by selecting the bus. You obviously need to allow for the slight delay in updating and your bus may be closer than shown.
Stagecoach operates the vast majority of bus services across the Lake District and they have their own live tracker available on their free app which is also updated very regularly and shows live bus locations, scheduled and expected times, bus service routes, bus stops and an indication of how busy the bus might be. Obviously, this doesn’t include bus services provided by other operators. Stagecoach are also good at updating Twitter with any relevant travel news, @StagecoachCNL.
There are a number of different websites and free apps that show you live train information and expected arrival times for the service that you want on the national rail network. For example, National Rail Enquiries have a website and an app which show live train times for all services. They also have a Twitter account for more general train travel updates, @nationalrailenq. Alternatively, you could try Trainline which has a good live website and app.
Avanti West Coast, Transpennine Express and Northern are the three train operators across the Lake District and Cumbria and they all have their own websites and apps where you can follow live train times. They also have Twitter accounts for more significant updates, @AvantiWestCoast, @TPExpressTrains, @northernassist. Once at the railway station, live train times are shown on the electronic boards on the platforms.
Lake District boat services are normally better at sticking to scheduled timetables with less obstacles in their way although bad weather can stop them running. The different boat operators have their own websites but social media is probably the best place to check for any significant live information, eg boat delays or cancellations. Although it may not tell you if a service is running slightly behind schedule, more for significant schedule issues. The different Twitter accounts are as follows;
- Windermere Cruises – @Windermereboats – regular updates
- Windermere Ferry – @windermereferry – updates when services affected, which can be quite common due to weather or technical issues.
- Ullswater Steamers – @UllswaterSteam – regular updates
- Coniston Launch – @LaunchConiston – significant updates only
- Steam Yacht Gondola (Coniston) – @NTGondola – significant updates only
- Keswick Launch – No social media updates
Windermere lake also has a number of strategically placed webcams to view the boats, including Windermere Cruises and Windermere Ferry. The ferry one is useful for checking if it is running and its current position.
Of course, all these live update sites require internet access with a phone signal or WiFi which can be a problem in certain areas of the Lakes although the majority of places served by public transport do at least have a phone signal. This live information should certainly help plan your travels across the area and avoid the uncertainty of not knowing if or when your transport service is going to turn up.