Website content during Tube strikes

As you can imagine, it’s been very busy on the website in the past few days as people have wanted to find information about when the Tube strike would happen and what the impact would be.

Traffic volumes on the site

We’ll do a more specific post tomorrow about the traffic volumes and most popular content, but the headlines are that on Monday we received around 7 million page views in 1.6m visits from 1.3m unique users.  That’s a little more than twice our normal daily traffic.

In the evening we received around 600,000 page views between 10pm and 11pm – which proved to be the busiest hour of the day.

Website traffic volumes 28 April 2014
Website traffic volumes on Monday 28th April 2014

This morning we’ve seen pretty intense volumes, around 900,000 page views between 7am and 8am.  I would expect we’ll see even higher demand between 4pm and 5pm this afternoon.

Website content

The key content people were looking for prior to the strike was information on which services would run.  Once the strike had kicked off, Status Updates and the homepage quickly became the most popular content with Journey Planner not far behind.

We would be keen to know what content you have found useful before and during this strike, as well as anything which has not been so good so that we can do better should there be other similar situations in the future. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


  1. Please steal the idea that a lot of third-parties have had and put a dynamically updating tube map front and centre of your website. Grey out the lines where trains aren’t running, or the stations where trains aren’t stopping.

    Failing that, a list of what stations are open, frequency of service etc. – like what your excellent team were doing on the Victoria line Twitter feed. And then send this data to your API users so that all the apps that fetch the line status from you have it as well.

  2. Frantically trying to reschedule this weeks activities yesterday found it hard to get a high-level view of the industrial action – ie a summary of what days/hours the action is expected to affect, and what services in general (bus, tube, o’ground, rail…) will be directly/inditerctly affected. I would have expected TFL to have a running one-page overview readily available. I found that entering keywords/phrases such as “strike” and “industrial action” in the search box didn’t bring up anything relevant – surprising, really. Plunging into the detail of the tube map etc., was not really helpful. Hope this helps improve things. DS

  3. Even though I like the new visual design, it’s hard to get an overview of the situation.
    3 issues for me:

    1. The interactive map isn’t the most usable, and it’s slowish even on fast computers. I can’t see which stations are open and which are closed. They should be clearly marked on the map.

    2. The status terminology is not consistent. You use “special service” even when the line is closed (e.g. yesterday after 11pm), yet at other times you use “closure” or “suspended”! This makes it really hard to quickly understand the status, without having to click on a line. The old site would at least show more information on mouse hover (and had more consistent use of terminology). Special service is obviously wrong, when the entire line is not running, for whatever reason.

    3. I couldn’t for the life of me find the departure boards. So I did a search for “departure boards”. Oh my….. Couldn’t believe how bad the search could be on a new website! ALL results on the first 8 pages are titled “Visit Docklands”, and several are just titled “{document name}”. VERY disappointing… Did anyone try the search before you released it?


    1. Hi Anthony, thanks for your feedback. The interactive map renders using the processing power of the device and the browser, when there’s lots of lines highlighted it can be a bit slow. That’s something we’ll take a look at to see how it can be improved. We can also see that the way station closure information is represented, both in the text and on the map, could be improved. We’re working hard to make line status messages as useful as possible. On some occasions, due to system limitations, it’s not been perfect but we’re working hard to make these better. Today’s messages were better than yesterday’s as we were able to capture lines which were not running and give a ‘suspended’ message rather than ‘special service’. Departure boards (I assume you mean for the Tube) can be found at The search is generally much better than the one it replaced, but we have a stack of further improvements lined up. For that search term I would agree it’s not offering good results at present.

  4. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for your previous reply and apologies for posting again on here – but as far as I can see, there is no way to leave feedback on the site via the usual channels, since you removed the top feedback bar, unless I’m being really thick.

    There is a significant flaw in the logic of the trip planner. To recreate it: enter today’s date, and select 23:45 as departure time. Then, on the results page, use the button at the bottom to choose later services. This changes the time, but not the date, resulting in showing services in the past (i.e. 00:15 for today’s date, not tomorrow’s), which is obviously wrong.

    Basically, I was trying to find the last tube service from a particular station. You seemed to have removed the ‘last service’ option, which was next to the ‘later’ option on the old website. It was a very useful option, if one didn’t want to spend hours trawling through first/last timetables.

    So, two issues there, and please could you re-introduce an option to give website feedback along the multitude of other options you have on your contact forms. I’m sorry to have to post this on a blog, but couldn’t find another way!

    Thanks again!

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