After its nearly grinding to a halt over the last few Arriva finally changed its website to deliver at a glance service running information in a format that is more server friendly. From the performance point of view, that seems to have done the trick and gives you a sense of what is happening very quickly.
What this reveals is that what is needed is a central repository of general bus running information for challenging weather conditions like those that we are having now. Currently, it’s mainly a case of going to each operator and seeing what they tell you. For Britain, Traveline would be ideal for this role but it now depends on where you are. Scotland, Wales and the North East of England (includes Cumbria for some reason) do well but the English North West and West Midlands are not set up for this at all.
Maybe, it’s something on which they need to work. If they don’t fancy doing all the technical work, then further feeding their Twitter presence might be in order. Bowers/Centrebus are an excellent example of what can be done as is what National Rail Enquiries is doing. Then, there’s Northern Rail and Arriva Trains Wales (perhaps ironic given the experience of the U.K. bus side of the business) too and there may be more out there on the real-time web than this so it’s well worth a look. Short, pithy updates will do so long as we know what’s happening.