Travel Tools – new service against dodgy excuses

Sms, emails which alerts people to delays on their usual routes 15 December 2008. Travel Tools allow you to get live travel news and stay one step ahead of any disruptions to your journey. With regular text and email alerts and live travel news available online and on your mobile phone, the Travels Tools are making short shrift of old excuses.

It seems that Londoners enjoy spinning a yarn when trying to hide their poor time keeping, with nearly half admitting that they lie about why they are late according to new research from Transport for London. In fact, almost two thirds (65%) of those questioned also confessed that most of the time the real reason for their lateness lies squarely with themselves. The research, released to launch TfL’s new suite of online Travel Tools, shows a range of excuses that people fall back on, with trusty favourites including delayed transport, poor traffic and oversleeping. For example, one in five (20%) Londoners admitted to using the ‘Tube was late’ as an excuse, when only 5% of those questioned agreed that the Underground was actually responsible for making them late.

So what is really making Londoners late? The research reveals that Londoners penchant for “just five more minutes” in bed is one of the prime culprits with one in seven admitting that we tend to hit the snooze button rather than face the day ahead. Several respondents even confessed that early morning nookie was the real reason for their lateness! Even once we’re up, we still tend to dawdle before heading out the door with people citing wardrobe crises, makeup malfunctions and partner procrastination resulting in their tardiness.

Richard Parry, Director of Strategy & Service Development for London Underground said: “The Tube was delayed’ used to be a standard excuse for Londoners late for an appointment. But with the Tube offering a fast and frequent service from early in the morning until late at night across the Capital, and delays at their lowest for a decade or more, those days are gone. The introduction of our new ‘Travel Tools’ services, providing easy access to real time travel information, service updates, and a Tube map you can use on your mobile, means that you can check before you travel or on the move. With so many ways to get travel information, Londoners will have to become more creative with their excuses!”

The Travel Tools are being launched as part of the multi billion pound London Underground Investment Programme and can be viewed at

Highlights include:
• An SMS message service which alerts people to delays on their usual routes
• A mid week email alert, which details planned weekend works and links to the TfL site; an excellent lifestyle addition for the 10% of men who find it hard to arrive on time for a date!
• A ‘service update’ board similar to the ones found on station platforms
• An interactive ‘planned works’ Tube map, searchable by date, highlighting the sections affected by upgrade works
• Downloadable ‘widget’ versions of the Travel Tools so you can get live updates on your own website, blog or homepage

The new Travel Tools are designed to help us get around whilst the London Underground Investment Programme progresses; by 2012 renewal work will have been completed on almost every station on the Tube network. Recent milestones include:
• The launch of a newly refurbished state-of-the-art Network Operations Centre
• The unveiling of the first air-conditioned trains, the S Stock, which will operate on the Metropolitan line from 2010 before rolling out across the District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines
• Transport improvements unveiled at Wood Lane and Shepherd’s Bush Stations
• Wide aisle gates installed in local stations including Hammersmith, Kennington and Edgware.

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