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London bus map

London Locals helping visitors and locals alike
Nimrod103
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London bus map

#642707

Postby Nimrod103 » January 26th, 2024, 10:03 am

I have started exploring central London using my bus pass, but I have been unable to find online a clear detailed map of where the routes actually go. I tried Google, but without luck as the routes appears not to be numbered.
Has anyone got any suggestions?

clissold345
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Re: London bus map

#642720

Postby clissold345 » January 26th, 2024, 10:54 am

The pdf file on this page looks pretty good for routes in central London. My home route used to be the 38.

https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/bus

Spet0789
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Re: London bus map

#642726

Postby Spet0789 » January 26th, 2024, 11:05 am

Obviously the bus network is super complicated compared with the tube but TfL used to publish “Spider diagrams” showing the route network from specific nodes.

These days, Google maps has great data on routes so perhaps just deselect tube and train in the settings and then ask it to suggest a public transport route. Are you sure the route wasn’t numbered? Usually they are.

Nimrod103
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Re: London bus map

#642800

Postby Nimrod103 » January 26th, 2024, 4:20 pm

clissold345 wrote:The pdf file on this page looks pretty good for routes in central London. My home route used to be the 38.

https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/bus


Thanks for the link, it reminded me that I had found these 'spider' maps before, and they are very useful and detailed.

Where I find them difficult is in planning longer journeys. For instance, I want to go from London Bridge to South Kensington by bus, so using the spider maps I can either go to Holborn and change, or Waterloo/County Hall and change, so I need to look up another spider map for those places to find the onward connecting bus service.

clissold345
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Re: London bus map

#642808

Postby clissold345 » January 26th, 2024, 4:47 pm

London Bridge to South Ken? If you're willing to walk a bit, you can catch the 360 at Elephant & Castle (I think).

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Re: London bus map

#642829

Postby monabri » January 26th, 2024, 5:38 pm


bluedonkey
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Re: London bus map

#642845

Postby bluedonkey » January 26th, 2024, 6:19 pm

When I have been in that situation I just catch the next bus going furthest in the direction I want, then do similarly when I get off that bus. It works most of the time but admittedly not all the time! The fall back in that case is sometimes to shell out for the tube.

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Re: London bus map

#642856

Postby mc2fool » January 26th, 2024, 7:24 pm

clissold345 wrote:London Bridge to South Ken? If you're willing to walk a bit, you can catch the 360 at Elephant & Castle (I think).

There's several buses that go from London Bridge to the Elephant. I don't remember the numbers as when I did that stretch for a couple of weeks some years ago it was just a case of catching any bus from the right stop at the LB end of Borough High Street.

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Re: London bus map

#642865

Postby Lootman » January 26th, 2024, 8:17 pm

bluedonkey wrote:When I have been in that situation I just catch the next bus going furthest in the direction I want, then do similarly when I get off that bus. It works most of the time but admittedly not all the time! The fall back in that case is sometimes to shell out for the tube.

Yes. that is what I do, especially in parts of London I do not know, which includes almost everywhere south of the river, with honourable exceptions that are invariably just south of the river e.g. Putney, Waterloo, Bankside, London Bridge. But you still need a basic sense of geography, which I only have for north of the river.

Being 2 kilometres from the closest tube (Highgate, Finsbury Park) I make some use of the W7 (*). And the 253 is handy as it runs at a high frequency. But otherwise I mostly avoid buses as I hate waiting for them and they are slow (average speed is under 10 mph and less in the most congested parts).

I have had particularly bad luck with buses around Heathrow.

Tube, overground and cabs get you done.

(*) Apparently the W series of buses is some throwback to decades ago, and stands for Wood Green.

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Re: London bus map

#642874

Postby Spet0789 » January 26th, 2024, 10:27 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:
clissold345 wrote:The pdf file on this page looks pretty good for routes in central London. My home route used to be the 38.

https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/bus


Thanks for the link, it reminded me that I had found these 'spider' maps before, and they are very useful and detailed.

Where I find them difficult is in planning longer journeys. For instance, I want to go from London Bridge to South Kensington by bus, so using the spider maps I can either go to Holborn and change, or Waterloo/County Hall and change, so I need to look up another spider map for those places to find the onward connecting bus service.


I really don’t understand why you don’t use google maps. It’s perfect for this.

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Re: London bus map

#642945

Postby Spet0789 » January 27th, 2024, 11:58 am

Spet0789 wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:
Thanks for the link, it reminded me that I had found these 'spider' maps before, and they are very useful and detailed.

Where I find them difficult is in planning longer journeys. For instance, I want to go from London Bridge to South Kensington by bus, so using the spider maps I can either go to Holborn and change, or Waterloo/County Hall and change, so I need to look up another spider map for those places to find the onward connecting bus service.


I really don’t understand why you don’t use google maps. It’s perfect for this.


Just in case you’re missing this, select public transport then go to Options. Deselect all but Buses and probably also select least walking. Job done.

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Re: London bus map

#642980

Postby Dicky99 » January 27th, 2024, 2:01 pm

Spet0789 wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:
I really don’t understand why you don’t use google maps. It’s perfect for this.


Just in case you’re missing this, select public transport then go to Options. Deselect all but Buses and probably also select least walking. Job done.


Except its not job done, the problem being that deselecting certain modes doesn't exclude them. For example ask Google for a route from Enfield to Croydon and deselect everything but bus and all of the suggestions include trains even though an all bus route is possible.

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Re: London bus map

#643042

Postby mc2fool » January 27th, 2024, 4:14 pm

Dicky99 wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:Just in case you’re missing this, select public transport then go to Options. Deselect all but Buses and probably also select least walking. Job done.

Except its not job done, the problem being that deselecting certain modes doesn't exclude them. For example ask Google for a route from Enfield to Croydon and deselect everything but bus and all of the suggestions include trains even though an all bus route is possible.

And the other problem being that for Google (and Citymapper and the like) you need a connection. I have the London Rail & Tube services map and the central London bus map downloaded to my phone. Doesn't give you live timings of course but still useful.

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Re: London bus map

#643047

Postby Spet0789 » January 27th, 2024, 4:24 pm

Dicky99 wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:
Just in case you’re missing this, select public transport then go to Options. Deselect all but Buses and probably also select least walking. Job done.


Except its not job done, the problem being that deselecting certain modes doesn't exclude them. For example ask Google for a route from Enfield to Croydon and deselect everything but bus and all of the suggestions include trains even though an all bus route is possible.


Interesting. I imagine there is some cut off in terms of journey time. But for central London it works beautifully.

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Re: London bus map

#643052

Postby Lootman » January 27th, 2024, 4:34 pm

Spet0789 wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:Thanks for the link, it reminded me that I had found these 'spider' maps before, and they are very useful and detailed.

Where I find them difficult is in planning longer journeys. For instance, I want to go from London Bridge to South Kensington by bus, so using the spider maps I can either go to Holborn and change, or Waterloo/County Hall and change, so I need to look up another spider map for those places to find the onward connecting bus service.

I really don’t understand why you don’t use google maps. It’s perfect for this.

Although I always have my phone with me I do not often like to pull it out in public and start fumbling about with it, or squinting at it in direct sun etc. For buses I find the signage on the bus stops to be useful, just as I refer to the rail maps on display at every tube or overground station.

I took the OP's question to be about navigating the system without a device and he specifically excluded using Google. That is a skill lost on my kids who use a phone for everything and so never learn orientation or navigation skills. They are amazed that I can descrbe routings off the top of my head.

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Re: London bus map

#643067

Postby Nimrod103 » January 27th, 2024, 5:14 pm

Lootman wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:I really don’t understand why you don’t use google maps. It’s perfect for this.

Although I always have my phone with me I do not often like to pull it out in public and start fumbling about with it, or squinting at it in direct sun etc. For buses I find the signage on the bus stops to be useful, just as I refer to the rail maps on display at every tube or overground station.

I took the OP's question to be about navigating the system without a device and he specifically excluded using Google. That is a skill lost on my kids who use a phone for everything and so never learn orientation or navigation skills. They are amazed that I can descrbe routings off the top of my head.


Thanks all. I have just been having a look around Google Maps (not a programme I use all that much) and I take onboard all the comments. I agree ticking the bus box does not exclude routes by underground, but it also suggests some trips across central London could take quite a long time using only the bus, and London Bridge to South Ken is one of them. I was rather hoping for a downloadable map I could use to go exploring, because my sense of direction is very good, but I didn't want to stand studying the small information panels on the bus stops when I would rather be travelling the open road.

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Re: London bus map

#649106

Postby NomoneyNohoney » February 25th, 2024, 1:43 pm

I use the app "Moovit" which allows you to enter your 'from' and 'to' places, and then suggests routes to you. You can suggest transit type preferences - most useful being bus/train/tube, and the app suggests best route, other routes, times and costs, and also walking distances involved. You can deselect unwanted options, to just leave bus routes.
A bit of pre-planning before setting out, and you're all set.

If you fancy marvelling at the power of computers, there's another free app called "Rome to Rio." It performs the same sort of mapping, but globally - try it out and you'll see what I mean. Whether London to Newcastle, or Paris to Durban, it's simply amazing.

(These are Android apps, whether available for Apple, I don't know.)


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