Hit by the chaos on the tube today?[QQ] A London-centric question, but travel nightmares are suffered by people all over the country.
How much easier would life have been if you knew exactly what was happening on the underground, trains and roads?
This is where, in theory, the internet should have an advantage as it can be updated immediately.
If a tube station is closed down, you should be able to read about it on your screen there and then. For the tube there are two alternatives.
First there is www.thetube.com, London Underground’s straightforward and easy to navigate site. One click on ‘service update’ and you get all the details of major hold-ups on the system.
It’s also a good corporate site, with useful information on the public private partnership, and links onto to other London transport sites. For a more cynical but entertaining take on the underground, go to www.tubehell.com.
Here you can sign up for text message alerts, sign a petition to get John Prescott to use the tube and read the less corporate view on PPP – all done against a devilish red background.
If you are travelling on the rail network, it would always be wise to check how the trains are running before setting off.
Railtrack’s own site, www.railtrack.co.uk, is a disappointment. So much so that you are asked to call a number to verify travel details.The only useful feature is the directory of train operators, most of which provide more detailed travel information.
There are other sites, such as www.nationalrail.co.uk, that provide far better information.
Here you can get the latest news on rail disruption from a service provided by all the train operating companies.The site acts as a portal for all the operators, and does not apparently sell anything.
For news about the roads, the AA and the RAC both have good informative sites.
At www.theaa.com click on ‘travelwatch’ and you get a very thorough update on hold-ups around the UK and you can sign up for email alerts for your route.
With www.rac.co.uk you can phone for updates and the travel news service is equally comprehensive. Much better than the DETR’s traffic cone hotline.
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