If you’re a non-driver like me, then you’re probably reliant on buses to get around, at least some of the time. Whilst I prefer to travel by train where possible, as I find it easier to read on trains, I still use buses weekly and sometimes more frequently.
So it’s helpful to have access to an app like UK Bus Checker, which will give you a list of buses due at a given bus stop, and, where available, live running information.
UK Bus Checker starts out with a map view at your location, with the nearby bus stops as pins (although you can drag the map elsewhere as well). Tap each bus stop and you can view a list of the buses that call there, and which buses are due, as shown in the screenshot. I chose a stop on Market Street in Halifax – you may notice that it even shows images from Google Street View in the background.
On the lower portion of the screen is the timetable. Where a service shows an expected time (e.g. ‘3 minutes’ or ‘due’), that means that the app has been able to get live running information for that bus. Otherwise, it’ll show the timetable, like for the 562 and 537 in the screenshot – not all bus companies have the technology on their buses to report live running.
Bus stops that you use regularly can be marked as favourites, and there’s a search tool. Another nifty feature allows you to set alerts for certain bus stops, so that you know when to get off the bus – handy if you’re not familiar with the area. And as UK Bus Checker uses Google Maps, it can show live traffic information as well.
The level of information available will vary depending on where you are. I tried a few towns and cities across the north and I generally found that they all had live running information, but elsewhere you may only see the published timetable. Which may still be better than no information at all but it’s good to know whether the bus is running late.
The app is free but supported by advertising – this can be removed with a one-off in-app purchase of £2.99.
UK Bus Checker is a universal app for iPhone and iPad.