In praise of Transport for London

· travel ·

Provided that I've got enough done by then, I'm planning to go to the MacExpo on Friday. I was in two minds about whether to bother, because I felt that it was a bit lacklustre last year. Now that I'm living in Birmingham, it involves a lot more time, effort and money to get to London, so I want it to be worthwhile. However, this year the show is at Olympia rather than the Design Centre in Islington as it has been in former years, so I'm hoping that they might have beefed it up a bit. I'm very keen to see the new iMacs and Aperture, as well as the new iView MediaPro, so there should be a fair amount to see.

Being a cheapskate, I found a cheap, off-peak deal with Chiltern trains, but the train comes into Marylebone, which isn't the easiest location for getting to Olympia. I perused the Underground map, but even the most straightforward journey involved a couple of changes and a longish walk. Just as I was beginning to think that it might not be worth the hassle, I decided to look for bus timetables.

If you search the Journey Planner, you can get detailed timetables for a particular route, centred around your chosen stop. The layout is admirably clear, with a simple line linking all the stops, and figures at each stop showing the estimated journey time from your starting point. I've always been put off taking buses in London because of the complication of working out which route you want and where the stops are. Now they seem to have got the information provision sorted out, but it remains to be seen whether the 27 really does come at 10-12 minute intervals as they claim, or that the journey should take about 24 minutes.