Archived: Web design: The changing face of the TfL site

With our brand new website just about to launch, we took a trip down memory lane and looked over the evolution of our website from 2002 through to today.

Amazingly, back in 2002 our website did not include information for the Tube! This was on a separate site and London Underground came into the main TfL website a little while later – you can see it in the 2004 image.

As you will see from these images, the site changed dramatically in 2007 and this was the last time the site received major redevelopment. Finally, our 2014 images show the new site and it’s mobile-friendly design which will be launching in the next few days.

Have a look through these images and see how many you remember!


TfL, Web Design,
Here are the TfL Home, Street Management, Buses, Taxis, Rivers and Coaches pages from 2002. Note the absence of the Tube!


TfL, Web Design
This is how our home page looked 10 years ago, back in 2004 when London was a ‘candidate city’ for the 2012 games.


Transport for London, Web Design, TfL
Our home page had changed dramatically by 2007; the last time the site went through major redevelopment


TfL, Web Design, Olympics
Our home page in 2012 – a massive year for us and for London with the Olympic and Paralympic games


Tfl, Website, Design
This is our brand new, mobile friendly site, which will be launching in the next few days


  1. The new website may be very up to date, but unfortunate, in my oppinion, fails horribly in terms of content, particularly as far as bus maps are concerned.
    There is a sizable proportion of the population who know london well and are looking for the downloadable maps (both the spider maps and the true maps) which have been available for years.
    I can’t get the bus map functionality to work at all on this new website.

    Whilst you might be trying to put all your efforts into making the Journey Planner all powerful, for those with a brain of their own who like looking at maps, access to the actual information is more valuable than what you’re actually offering.

  2. The traffic status info doesn’t work at all and when I tried to send feedback saying it was rubbish my message wouldn’t go. ‘Information cannot be displayed in a pane’ or some cobblers.
    Nice one.

  3. Why have you launched a website that does not work despite nearly a year of beta activity? I tried to feedback last night and the website threw my feedback away.

    I have encountered the following problems

    – no bus or tube timetable info. This was in the beta version but gone in the live version.
    – bus stop “favourites” lost overnight despite allowing cookies
    – no access to any press releases. The link defaults to a “website not working page”
    – no link to Travelcard product information. Oyster produtcts page defaults to Bus and Tram pass only with no links to other products.
    – the single fares finder has no cash fare info in it just Oyster fares. This is daft when the footnote under every fares finder result refers to cash fare validity!
    – the single fares finder does not state which pink validators to use on some journeys while it does on others.
    – the loss of bus spider maps and the quadrant bus maps is not acceptable. Some of us found those to be useful tools. “Maps” functionality never went live in beta so how were users supposed to know you’d be removing this info? A very poor approach.
    – bus tender result functionality is not live. Why?
    – the site does not scale at all well on my smartphone which I thought was the point of all this effort?

    You really need to do much better than this after years of effort. No one expects perfection on day one but this is not good.

  4. I like the design of the new website, but the UX Design could be improved, as others have pointed out already. However it’s interesting to see the development of such an important website to millions of users.

  5. Great post! Would you by chance have a screenshot of the TFL site from 2000-2002? I worked on that version of the site and it was an amazing project at the time. I still remember vividly the night we launched it when Ken Livingstone was elected – it really felt like a moment in history. The WaybackMachine just shows broken images, but I would love to see it again if you have an archived version.

    1. I think the 2002 screenshot was as old as we could find in the archives at the time that I put this post together. I’ll have another dig around and will be sure to post some images if I find anything dating back beyond this. Thanks for your comment, it’s great to hear that this blog has reached someone who worked on the site back then!

  6. The design is pretty impressive as it developed through the years. But I hope they can focus on the other features of the site as well, as what other commenters have mentioned. They have to make it user-friendly and easy to use.

  7. Obviously, TFL has undergone a series of overhaul over the years to better adapt with the needs, interests and preferences of the users. The WordPress framework that the website is based upon is indeed a reliable one and is used by close to 17,402,952 websites on the Web. However, considering the growing number of users, the department should consider it migrating it to Drupal, as most of the websites including

    The Whitehouse, CNN, Reuters Labs, Virgin and War Child, NBA.COM, Nasdaq, hubert Burda Meda, Jurassic world, wwf, Al Jazeera Media Network in the world that handle high volume of content and traffic are built using Drupal. Here are key supporting reasons.

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