If you get frustrated hanging around at bus stops with no Countdown display, mentally doing the walk/wait gamble and trying to make journey planning decisions with little more information to hand than a contestant on Deal or no Deal then you should be interested to try out TfL's Live Bus Departure website.
The site is only in Beta testing at present but given it was spotted over the weekend and widely tweeted, it'll be getting a proper workout this week. It looks good, simple and effective, locating our local stop from the road name and listing the next expected bus services. A mobile version works equally well for us on iPhone and we'd expect TfL to release the data for app developers once they've properly launched the site.
Top tweets proclaimed the tool "brilliant", "bizarrely addictive" and "awesome" but will it really make a difference to how we approach bus journeys?
Diamond Geezer's calling it a "game changer for public transport access in London" with the potential to "make a genuine difference to [his] quality of life". Being able to plan journeys with more precision is certainly welcome for those who live outside Central London and rely on one bus route. Getting to the bus stop as your double decker pulls up can mean valuable time saved and much less getting cross.
But some of us still don't bother checking before we travel - despite all the emails and posters from TfL. Having this information available sounds ace, but we wonder how many passengers will use it. Even if we know the 232 is coming in the next 7 and 24 minutes, will we manage to leave the house and walk to the bus stop timed to the minute? And won't the traffic on the North Circular will probably balls up the expected time by the time we get to the end of the road anyway?
What do you think — have you tried it? Give it a go this week and let us know what you think.