Hello!

Together with the Travel Team, I am happy to announce that a new version of the BBC Travel website is now available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/travel.

You can read about the beta version of the product in my previous blog post.

We have worked on this new version for over a year, making sure that whatever we do, we always focus on the high quality of the data and the user experience.

The difference between the old version and this new one is significant. We made the service simpler, more intuitive and easy to navigate.

Location at the heart

Travel is inseparable from defining a location, so we made sure that location is in the centre of the Travel proposition. The new location setting allows you to reuse previous searches (tracking locations you recently searched for) as well as sharing locations between other BBC products such as BBC Weather and Homepage)

We have also moved away from fixed regions, which means that the results are no longer tied to the regional areas. This allows us to make the service more local.

But what about maps?

The zoom levels we use for the map are adjusted to cover a large enough area to show the big picture but small enough to keep the focus on the location that is of interest. Travel users can now freely interact with the map (pan or zoom) and follow the incidents along their whole journey. For example for a journey from Glasgow to Penzance you can start in the north and pan the map to the south without having to search again, as you would have to in the old version, as the start and end location fall in different news regions.

Designed responsively

The new BBC Travel has also been designed to automatically fit screen sizes in a fully responsive way, optimising the site’s layout for any device you access it from, whether that’s a desktop, mobile or tablet:

The BBC Travel website has been designed to fit most screen sizes in a responsive way

For efficiency reasons, when dealing with such large number of data the map is available on devices larger than 767 pixels (desktops and most tablets), on smaller devices we show the information in a list, making it more user-friendly for on-the-go access.

Switching modes of transport

We report on road, rail and light rail incidents, the latter being incidents that occur on underground, metro and tram systems. To alternate between the results for all available for a particular location modes of transport simply click one of the mode of transport icons that are displayed right next to the search box on devices larger than 767 pixels (in the top right hand side of the results page), or centrally at the top of the results page on smaller screen devices.

Modes of transport

Using ‘The Cloud’

A big piece of the project was to move the service onto the cloud infrastructure. We are proud to be one of the first audience facing BBC products to be built in that environment.

We have also spent a lot of time improving the traffic and travel data we use, working hard with our data providers to ensure the information we make available via the website is accurate and structured in a way to provide a good level of detail, this includes incidents as well as traffic camera data. For reporting incidents we use TPEG messages that we have extended in a way to enrich data will all necessary details. TPEG (Transport Protocol Experts Group) is a standardised format for travel news reports, allowing incidents relating to many different modes of transport to be captured in a structured way. The BBC has been a key partner in the development of TPEG, a project led by the EBU (European Broadcasting Union). Use of TPEG industry wide allows for the development of powerful systems to manage and display travel information; it means developers are able to work collaboratively and be confident they have consistent incoming data.

We hope that you like the new version of BBC Travel and find it more intuitive and easier to use. We’re keen to hear your feedback so please do share your comments with me and the team by commenting on this post, or alternatively contact us at travel.news@bbc.co.uk.

Karolina Iwaszko is Executive Product Manager, BBC Future Media

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  • Comment number 15. Posted by DBOne

    on 16 Sept 2014 14:37

    @14 You can still access the county pages - click the 'More' under the main map to get the list:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/travel/more

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by AdrianE

    on 16 Sept 2014 12:49

    I agree that the old one was much easier to use and one click to view everything I wanted and if I was travelling further I clicked the name of the next county. Have switched to another site due to these changes.

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  • Comment number 13. Posted by Heraaaa

    on 16 Sept 2014 07:12

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 12. Posted by duncan

    on 8 Sept 2014 17:37

    Sadly for some reason on my work PCs I do not get the Map option and as I am now unable to get maps on my mobile either I find the site virtually useless for planning any journeys or being aware of possible delays. I used to find old site easy to use and effective.
    When will it be possible to view traffic cameras again via a mobile?

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by Ghengis Kharen

    on 7 Sept 2014 13:21

    I so agree with 2.Ian & 6.JohnO and sympathise with 3.Johnboy & 7.SteveP

    I entered Orpington and found some roadworks information in the local area. Then I zoomed out to see the whole of my journey to central London ... and Lo! the local roadworks have disappeared and Orpington/Bromley are now miraculously clear! Surely not? No indeed - but I must zoom in again to see medium and minor severities. How unhelpful! How misleading!

    Now I'm considering a journey to Farnham. Previously I could just select "London South" and I could see all severity of incidents for South London, West Kent, Surrey and the southern half of the M25. Now it seems I need to zoom in and laboriously scan along the route to find the truth. No "see at a glance". How disappointing.

    Still, I do like seeing incidents and roadworks all together, instead of on separate tabs. Thank-you for that, at least.

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by Steve P

    on 5 Sept 2014 12:47

    Thanks Karolina for the prompt reply. Can't come soon enough!

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by Karolina Iwaszko

    on 5 Sept 2014 12:25

    Hi Steve P,

    you can now search for motorways directly in the search box, so when you type the motorway number in the search box you need to chose between a postcode district and a motorway and then you will be given results for that particular motorway. We have added a feature of saving historical searches which means that if you have searched for a motorway you will then be able to access it directly from the list rather than search for it again. In terms of the general overview of the motorways we are working on it now and it will be available in the next few weeks.

    regards
    Karolina

  • Comment number 8. Posted by Karolina Iwaszko

    on 5 Sept 2014 12:18

    Hi MsHels76,

    to view the tcams feature you need the javascript enabled and when this is done, tcams can be switched on by ticking the button in the map options (top right corner of the map). If you still can not see the cameras it may be due to one of the reasons: 1. there are no cameras in the area you are viewing (to verify simply pan the map to another area and see if the camera pins are appearing) 2. there may be a technical issue with the feed of traffic cameras from one of the providers (please go to another area, e.g. if you have searched for an area in Wales and you couldn't see the cameras, please search for a location in Scotland to see if you can view the tcams there) 3. there may be a technical issue in the user interface. If you would like us to investigate your case further please email us at travel.news@bbc.co.uk providing us with the info on the browser you are using and the version as well as the area/location you were viewing at that time.

    I hope this helps
    karolina

  • Comment number 7. Posted by Steve P

    on 5 Sept 2014 12:11

    I used to have the live update UK motorway network map saved to a speed dial on my desktop homepage. One click gave me all the info I needed for a journey. It also allowed me to instantly check for problems when my wife was coming home from her frequent business trips around the country. It worked very well.
    The other day I needed to go from Hertfordshire to the West Midlands. This is when I discovered the changes to the site. In order to get the motorway information I clicked on the small link labelled "more" toward the bottom of the homepage. I then clicked on the M25 link under the motorways heading. I then clicked back and forth between the pages for the M1 and M6, hoping to memorise the separate pieces of information I used to be able to see at a glance. I had to enter the M42 into the search box as the BBC don't list this motorway under their, er, motorways list.
    There may very well be a slightly less laborious way to do this but I had neither the time or the will to search for it.
    Please restore the live updating motorway map A.S.A.P. What were the designers thinking to have removed such an obviously useful tool in the first place, and then not replace it in time for the relaunched site? In the meantime I'm using the R.A.C.'s route planner. It's not quite as good as the old BBC motorways map, but it's better than the new one.
    Yours looks lovely though!

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by JohnO

    on 5 Sept 2014 10:10

    I agree completely with 2. Ian. Your new site is not fit for purpose. It's travel information for the journey I want; not location detail.
    I have just entered Scotland into the search box and been told "We couldn't find any results for 'Scotland' " !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'm hoping it's still there when I cross the border.

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