Timetables & Maps in the UK

What you should know

Timetables & Maps in the UK

All British public transport companies produce comprehensive national and local timetables, route maps and guides, although with the UK’s often chaotic road traffic conditions and the railways’ innumerable delays and cancellations, you would be wise to confirm times before travelling.

A national timetable is published, although InterCity and local timetables stand a better chance of being accurate, as they’re published more frequently. Most public transport services run fre­quently, particularly during rush hours. At major airports and railway stations, arrivals and departures are shown on electronic boards and visual display units. Bus timetables may be for individual routes, all routes operated by a particular company, or all routes serving a city, town or region.

Bus timetables, which include all local bus company services, are often published by local or county councils and are available free (or for a nominal price) from bus companies, libraries and tourist information centres. Many county councils publish excellent public transport guides and maps (available from libraries, tourist centres, newsagents and council offices), which include all bus, rail and ferry transport services operating within the county.

National Rail publishes the Great Britain Passenger Railway Timetable, although it’s largely a work of fiction (and in 1999 was printed with 35 days in March and 34 in April – not a good sign!). In some areas, combined timetables and guides are published, including all local bus, rail, metro (underground) and ferry services. In Wales, timetables and guides are published in English and Welsh.

In London, the number for general rail enquiries is 08457-484 950 and for London Transport it’s 020-7222 1234. London has 11 mainline rail stations serving different parts of the UK. Trains don’t travel across London, therefore if your rail journey takes you via London, you must change to your onward station (via tube, bus or taxi). For National Rail enquiries call 08457-484 950.

This article is an extract from Living and working in Britain. Click here to get a copy now.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: