If you still use our old countdown websites to check on live bus arrivals, you’ll notice a change from June 1 as you’ll be redirected to the main TfL website instead.

Many of you may have already seen the message about this change, which confirmed that the following websites will no longer be available from June 1:

http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk

http://m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk

http://accessible.countdown.tfl.gov.uk

Instead, you’ll be able to check for live bus information on the TfL home page, using the new favourites feature to get live arrivals for your stops.

Save your favourite bus stops in the 4 steps shown here: 1) Find a bus stop 2) Add it to your favourites 3) Select bus routes 4) Get live arrivals

Save your favourite bus stops in the 4 steps shown here: 1) Find a bus stop 2) Add it to your favourites 3) Select bus routes 4) Get live arrivals

Why are we making this change?

We currently operate two services for our customers to view live bus arrivals, tfl.gov.uk and countdown.gov.uk. The service at countdown.tfl.gov.uk is now at the end of its life and it is not economic to maintain it in future.

We recently introduced favourites feature on our website, as described in my previous post. These features allow you to save your bus stops and get live arrival information.

How can I get live arrivals for frequently used stops?

When you visit our website you’ll notice a star on the top right corner. Click or tap on it and search for your most frequently used bus stops. You can then add these to the favourites panel and get live arrivals.

Having set these favourites, you’ll also find your saved bus stops on the home page along with the live arrivals. The image above shows this process.

Alternatively, you can bookmark bus stop pages for future reference.

What are the next steps?

We realise that this new functionality replaces a well established service and we are working on improving the experience further.

We’re really interested to get your feedback to help us better understand your needs. It would be great to know any thoughts you have or problems you’ve faced by leaving us a comment below.

Posted by Charul Gupta

Charul is Digital Product Manager for Plan & Travel at TfL Online.

110 Comments

  1. hzkan@gmail.com August 26, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Hi, why is the new Countdown not showing any bus disruption information and stop closures like the previous one?

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  2. The SMS service doesn’t work for me any more, from about the same time you changed the online service. I am with Vodafone, on a Samsung Android phone. I have not changed anything with my kit or account, but I just don t get the text back any more. Like others, I find the website prohibitively fiddly (why won’t it just accept the correct bus stop number, instead of insisting on ‘Did you mean…’ and then often flipping me out into a map instead of giving the info??)

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, You can search for SMS code directly from buses search. It would take you directly to the bus stop page with live arrivals.

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  3. I appreciate people are working hard on this, but searching on the new site is still very cumbersome and counter-intuitive – could the new site please be made to work with the 5-digit bus codes? If I type those in, most of the time I get nothing relevant. Adding bus code support would be an easy painless way for people to reach the correct page.

    Also, typing in the stop name usually brings up junk results, maybe due to problems with multi-word searches? e.g. ‘Tollington Park’ – the search doesn’t seem to take into account the word ‘Tollington’ – it just searches for ‘park’. If I type in just ‘tollington’, I get more relevant results.

    If I type in ‘Warren Street’, the first result is ‘Cannon Street’! It’s searching by the word ‘street’.

    Mostly I have to type in the bus route – but this also is not flawless. On some routes (e.g. 29, 91) the first result is the relevant bus route. On others (e.g. W3, N91) the bus route doesn’t appear in results at all, and I end up having to look for other buses that use the same stop. Then, when I get to the list of stops on the bus route, the control to switch direction of travel is at the bottom of the list… Could you please add the ‘switch direction’ option at the top as well?

    One good thing, though, is the auto-refresh on the bus times (when you eventually get to the right page…).

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    1. Hi Andy, thanks for your feedback. You can search for SMS code directly from buses search and it would land you to relevant bus stop page. Also, we have made improvements to routes pages and now you have switch direction button at the top. Hope that helps.

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      1. Thanks for getting back to me – it should be made clearer though (as I had to search around) that when you say “buses search” you mean a different page: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses/ – where one search box on the right of the page is correctly configured for bus stop codes and multi-word names.

        Meanwhile, the top search box underneath the Mayor of London logo, where I might instinctively type in a code, still doesn’t work with the codes, or multi-word searches etc; and the “plan a journey” search boxes don’t work with bus codes. So it’s a bit better, as long as people know to navigate to https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses/ (hidden in the top menu under “More…”)

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      2. Hi Andy, we are constantly improving and your feedback is really important. The top search box is for internal website search and that is the reason it doesn’t take codes. But yes, plan a journey search box is a good idea and we can have a look. In the meanwhile read – https://blog.tfl.gov.uk/2016/10/18/buses-improvements-responding-to-your-feedback/ to know about recent improvements that we’ve made to our website re Buses.

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  4. Hi,

    I agree with the comments above, slow to load, too many clicks/swipes to get to your favourites and no instant refresh but I have to add that for the past 2 days my favourites won’t load unless I’m standing next to a bus stop. I just get an edit button. Any idea why?

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  5. Since the changes my old app no longer works. I’ve now found this app London Live Bus Countdown by Mobicia. I would highly recommend it. Very easy to use.

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  6. Looks like all the comments here agree with me: too much faff when you’re already standing in front of a bus stop and know which bus to take, and you just want to know how long. In my case, I want to use the 5 digit bus stop ID. No need for disambiguation, no need to search on a map. Countdown used to support this. It works fine for network rail for example: on that website i can enter 3 character station code and find the next train in one click.

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    1. Hi Joshim, You can search for SMS code directly from buses search. We have made improvements and you would not see disambiguation page when searching for valid SMS code.

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  7. Thank you for all your comments on this post. Unfortunately due to the volume of replies it hasn’t been possible to respond to every one individually. Though we identified common themes through the feedback received and have tried to address them. Please read my latest blog post (https://blog.tfl.gov.uk/2016/10/18/buses-improvements-responding-to-your-feedback/) which explains how we’ve responded to your feedback on our new buses tools. Please do leave a comment on that post as your feedback is really important. We will now be closing the comments on this post as new comments are directed to the new post, where they’re most relevant.

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