The Bus Atlas Project

 

Britain is criss-crossed by an amazingly comprehensive network of local bus services. It may not always be the quickest way to get around, but that is part of the appeal. What better way to see Britain's towns and villages, not the by-passes, but the village greens, the churches, the houses, the historic buildings, the country lanes, and everything else in between. Many routes are operated with double decker buses giving excellent scenic views. Some routes do offer a fast service between main centres, and increasingly Britain's buses are not only environmentally friendly but have creature comforts such as high-backed seats, wi-fi, phone charging, and even seats grouped around tables.

BusAtlas.uk aims to show principal inter-urban bus services and many rural ones too, colour-coded by operator and showing the main route numbers. This makes it easy to find more specific information elsewhere, such as timetables, ticket and fare information, and the location of bus stops. Whether you are travelling with an ordinary ticket or bus pass, exploring with a rover ticket, or whether you are a transport professional or enthusiast, my hope is that BusAtlas.uk will provide a useful insight into the network and maybe encourage some of you to leave the car at home!

Sources of timetable information (and more detailed maps) are as follows: the main bus groups have websites where you can find links to their regional companies - Arriva, Centrebus, Diamond Buses, First Bus, Go-Ahead, National Express West Midlands, Stagecoach, Transdev, Transport for London, Trent Barton. Individual operators can easily be found using a search engine.

Nationwide bus timetable information is available through Traveline and Bustimes.org, whilst Doe's Directory of Bus Timetables has many more links to operators and County Council bus information, plus a wealth of information about printed timetables and maps. If, like me, you enjoy a scenic open-top bus ride, there is a comprehensive list together with weblinks on the UK Open-Top Bus Services webpage.

In addition to the local bus services shown, major cities and airports are linked by a network of long-distance express coach services, mostly operated by National Express, Megabus and Flixbus. Pre-booking is generally required and these services are outside the scope of this website.

An ideal way to explore an area is to combine your bus travel with a rail rover, many of which are poorly advertised but which provide incredibly good value. Unlock these hidden gems through the private website Railrover.org or the official National Rail Rovers and Rangers website. A useful website for visiting attractions by rail (including bus information where appropriate) is Visit by Train, which has a huge amount of information on attractions in towns, villages and the countryside, including many maps and walking routes.

Progress on this website is likely to be slow and at this stage priority may be given to adding new maps rather than updating existing ones.

FURTHER LINKS:
Apply for an older person's bus pass - Government website with eligibility information and how to apply.
Bus and Train User - an excellent blog from a retired senior busman featuring his travels and latest developments in public transport.
Scenic Buses - a colourful website featuring some of Britain's best bus routes.
Bus Pass Britain - a book published by Bradt Guides. A further title is Bus Pass Britain Rides Again, available from booksellers.
Bus Users UK - a charity whose mission is to bring people together through accessible, inclusive transport (originally the National Federation of Bus Users).
Campaign for Better Transport - an organisation campaigning for transport which is greener, more affordable and easier to use (originally Transport 2000).
Omnibus Society - for enthusiasts and bus industry professionals interested in the development of Britain's bus services and timetables.
Public Transport is COVID-safe - evidence that the risk of catching Covid-19 on public transport is very low.

This is an independent non-commercial website with no links to any transport undertaking or organisation. Webmasters - feel free to link to BusAtlas.uk, but please link to the main page (www.busatlas.uk) rather than to individual pages or maps. Maps may not be redistributed through or hosted on any other website or social media site without permission.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Principal sources are bustimes.org and the websites of individual operators and County Councils. Thank you also to those who have emailed with corrections and suggestions. Maps are drawn using Serif PagePlus X9, overlaid onto base maps derived from OpenStreetMap © OpenStreetMap contributors; see www.openstreetmap.org/copyright.

CONTACT:
I'm always happy to receive corrections and news of changes, but they may have to wait until I next update the map in question. I did set up a special email address but emails were regularly going into my spam folder. Please could you therefore use my normal email address below with BUSATLAS in the subject field.

Happy Travelling!
Brendan Fox, Peterborough U.K.