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Google Maps adds all UK public transport timetables

Chocolate Factory not fooled by Bayswater-to-Queensway Tube jape

The man and his pony on the platform at Wrexham station

Google Maps' UK edition now incorporates data on every train, bus, tram and ferry across England, Scotland and Wales.

The Chocolate Factory is using Traveline's data to power its service, so now has access to the schedules of 1,500 operators, 1,700 routes and 330,000 bus stops, train stations and other transport hubs. Traveline's taken to mainstream media to praise Google for presenting its data as never before, and minister of state for transport Baroness Kramer is also saying nice things about Google's arrival on every bus, train and ferry across the sceptred isles.

Vulture South took the service for a spin for a hypothetical journey between Bayswater and Queensway, two London Tube stations separated by about 300 metres of easy walking or a rather longer train journey requiring one change. The service would have none of our intention to go by rail and instead routed us by foot.

We next tried a longer journey: Bletchley Park Museum to the MI6 headquarters in the London suburb of Lambeth. We can report the software combined rail and bus travel into what looks like a non-silly journey – with walking instructions to and from the stations.

Kantar World Panel data suggests that as of March 2014 56.2 per cent of UK mobile devices ran Android, so Google has a very good chance of becoming a very significant provider of transport information. If that outcome eventuates, the business location Google bakes into Maps also become more valuable, driving yet more businesses to feed Google data.

Some could even do the near-unthinkable: make a serious effort on Google+, an event that happens about as often as the trains Google now tracks running on time. ®

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