Help and FAQs

What are the available features?

The currently available features are as follows:

Road incidents: where you will find information about accidents, roadworks and other road incidents that can affect your journey. All road incidents are clearly displayed on the map (available for desktops and larger tablets) and on a list, customisable to the area you’re interested in.

To optimise the usage we make the map and map related features available only for devices above 767 pixels (larger tablets and desktops).

Motorway incidents, where you will find an overview of all motorway incidents in the UK.

Rail incidents, where you will find information about planned and unplanned incidents that may affect your train journey.

Light rail incidents: a feature allowing to verify the information related metro and tram services, like London Underground, Manchester Metrolink, Glasgow Subway and many more.

Traffic cameras: a feature that allows you to view the images from traffic cameras (JamCams) all over the country showing the situation on the main roads and motorways. Please note these are not the speed cameras.

The Traffic Camera feature is associated with the map and is available on desktop and most tablets (with JavaScript enabled).

We have recently introduced an improvement to the location search by adding main and other locations, functionalities of saving the history of your searches so you can easily get to the travel information for your regular locations.

What is an incident and what types of incidents does BBC Travel report on?

An incident, by our definition, is a separate occurrence that disrupts a journey. We can have different types of incidents for different modes of transport, e.g. for road incidents we have accidents, congestion and roadworks. Roadworks are now displayed in a separate tab to all other road incidents.

Each of the incidents (for all modes of transport) will have a severity level assigned to it (severe, medium or minor).

What are the severity levels in the travel reports?

In our reports we use the following rules to assign severity to particular incidents:

Severe – for example for road incidents one or more lanes closed on motorway, extreme congestion, closures of A roads that require traffic to divert onto a different route etc. Or for example for rail incidents major incident likely to close a line for the foreseeable future, services suspended on a principal route etc. Or for light rail for example entire line / network suspended etc.

Medium – for example closures of B roads, that require traffic to divert onto a different route, partial restrictions to the A roads etc. Or for rail incidents for example reduced service during peak times, trains not stopping at a station etc. Or for light rail incidents for example minor delays on all or part of a line etc.

Minor – routine congestion with no specific cause, closures of non classified roads that require traffic to divert onto a different route etc. Or for rail incidents for example a replacement bus service overnight, station restrictions etc. Or for light rail incidents engineering work affecting services on one day up until midday, or after 22:00 until close of service on the same day etc.

We understand that severity is a subjective measure and that peoples’ perception of the severity of incidents will sometimes differ. In order to present a consistent dataset across the country we do need to apply nationwide rules for incident severity, and hope that the above guidelines will give a better understanding of the rules we apply to indicate severity of all incidents.For road incidents you can use map options to choose which severity levels incidents you would like to view at the moment. Please note that the Severe incidents are always on, but you can tick on and off the medium and minor incidents.

Why does the number of mode of transport icons differ for different locations?

Modes of transport represent the main means of transport for a particular location. This means that we provide information on incidents on modes of transport that are available in the chosen area (e.g. we will report on possible road, rail or tube incidents in Glasgow or road, rail and metro incidents in Manchester or rail and road incidents in Swansea). We will only give you a choice of modes of transport that are relevant for the chosen particular location.

How do I search for incidents in my area?

Simply type the location you are interested in, it can be a UK town, city, postcode or a motorway number. Provided the location you searched for is recognised you will be taken to the road results page for the location where all modes of transport icons available for this location will be displayed (at the top of the page) allowing you to choose which incidents you prefer to view at this moment. Simply click a car icon to view road incidents, a train icon for rail incidents or a tram icon for light rail.

We have upgraded our search capabilities to provide a better and more accurate search results. You can search for a town, city, a UK postcode or a motorway number.

How do I view the incidents in the chosen location?

On the road results page all current incidents are displayed on the map (where available) and the details of each incident are provided on a list of incidents on the page. They are listed in severity order. In some cases the list of incidents displayed on devices where a map is available may be shorter to the list of incidents displayed on the devices where map can’t be viewed. This is due to the fact that when a map is available we are displaying all incidents that are showed on the map, whereas when a map is not available we are using a radius search of about 10 miles.

On the rail results page all current (live) and planned incidents are displayed on a list. We search for incidents affecting any station within a 10 miles radius to provide you with a full picture of the area. If there is more than 1 station within our radius search the incidents will be listed in alphabetical order, based on the name of the station that is affected. We will not display all stations within the area but only these that have been affected by an incident (meaning that a delay or cancellation has occurred that will affect a train journey via this station).

On the light rail results page you will be presented with a status for the whole metro/tram system (all lines) and if any incidents occur, the details of them will be displayed next to an appropriate line of the service.

What does "Show all map incidents" button mean?

If you used Motorway number as a search term or are viewing regional areas or a general motorway view and you are viewing the results on a device with map enabled you can reset your search to view all incidents in the view of the map. We ask users to zoom in before we allow displaying all incidents for the area, and this is due to a possible large number of incidents in some areas. We have on average 4000 incidents reported and displayed for the UK at one moment in time. Zooming in allows us to present the information in a clear and more usable way.

This functionality is not applicable to devices where map is not available.

Are the incidents still tied to the regional areas?

No, not anymore. In our new version we have implemented a major improvement that allows you to search for your local town, postcode or a motorway and see the road incident results displayed on an interactive map (where available) and a list. This gives you much more control over the level of information displayed – you can see incidents down at a road level.

If you would still like to use the regional views you can find the related links in the More section of the Travel pages. To resent the view to all incidents in the view of the map simply click on the Show all incidents button (see above for more details).

Please note that the areas have been defined according to the BBC Local News regions.

All rail and light rail incdients are displayed on a list.

How do I view incidents on the motorways?

There are two ways of viewing the motorway incidents.

You can search for a motorway number, e.g. type M4 into the search box and search for incidents on this particular motorway. Please note that some motorway numbers as the same as some postcode districts, so in some cases we ask users to choose between the two of them when using the search functionality. Each of them is clearly indicated (e.g. M4, Postcode District and M4, Motorway, United Kingdom).

Some users may find it useful to view status for all motorways at the same time. To enable this view simply click on the motorway symbol at the top of the page. If you want to view all incidents in the area please zoom in and click the "Show all incidents button".

How do I switch between the modes of transport (road, rail or light rail incidents)?

To alternate between the results for road, rail and light rail 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.

How do I use the map?

The map is available for desktop and tablet users (devices above 767 pixels) and only with the JavaScript enabled. But don’t worry, if a map is not available you will still be able to benefit from the full set of information in relation to the road incidents in searched locations. Results for other modes of transport do not use the map so are unaffected by its availability. Please note that the Traffic Cameras feature is available only with a map.

Where a map is available, you can zoom in and zoom out using the map tools on the left hand side of the map, you can pan out from the results page by ‘’grabbing the map’’ with the cursor and moving it in the direction you want. Alternatively you can use the tools on the left hand side of the map to zoom in/out and pan in any direction. You will notice that the incident list (on the right hand side) automatically updates to reflect what is displayed on the map.

How do I get more information about an incident I am interested in?

You can expand the information in the list to view more details on road or rail incidents or hover over a pin on the map (when a map is available) to see a summary of the road incident.

The light rail results page gives you all details straight away in the form of a status page for all lines.

How can I view Traffic Cameras images?

Traffic cameras are available for desktop and tablet users (devices above 767 pixels) and only with JavaScript enabled.

The cameras are frequently updated with still images taken from CCTV cameras across the motorway and trunk road network. They show snapshots of traffic conditions, which can be useful when used in combination with our incident data.

To view the Traffic Camera images please enable the feature in the map options As a result traffic cameras pins will be displayed on the map, each pin in a location associated with a physical traffic camera. By clicking on each pin an info panel will expand and an actual image will be displayed. The direction of the camera image may vary and on rare occasions some cameras may be unavailable due to technical or operational reasons, including Police actions.

The Traffic Cameras are viable at the lower zoom levels for the purpose of a clear presentation.

Can I use this service on mobile and tablet?

Yes, BBC Travel has been designed to automatically fit most screen sizes in a fully responsive way and can be accessed on desktop, mobile and tablet.

Can I save my favourite locations?

We have introduced an improvement to the location search by adding main and other locations, functionalities of saving the history of your searches so you can easily get to the travel information for your regular locations.

What is a main location?

A main location is a location set across all BBC products that use location setting (e.g. Travel, Weather, Homepage etc.) allowing relevant information on that location to be displayed. Once a main location is set BBC Travel will default to show results for that location, unless searched for a different location.

You can manage your main location in the drop down list that is displayed when you click in the location search box.

Some locations that are specific to one product only, like Motorways in case of BBC Travel, will not be shared between the products, however will still be added to the list of other locations for this particular product.

What are other locations?

Other locations are locations that you have recently searched for. This functionality allows us to save the history of your searches so you can easily get to the Travel results for your regular locations.

Will my bookmarks saved for the previous version of the website still work?

Your bookmarked pages will now bring you to the new results pages for the biggest or central location for the previously used region. For example if you have bookmarked a link to Cumbria in the previous version of the Travel site, you will be taken to the results page for Carlisle zoomed out to the view of the whole region. We suggest that you update the bookmark with the new link to the results page. You can bookmark results page for any mode of transport available for a particular location.

How can I contact the BBC to provide my comments to this service?

To help us improve the service please send your comments using our Feedback tool.

You can also comment on a blog post on the new BBC Travel on the BBC Internet Blog.

How can I report an incident?

In order to report an incident you can use the online Report an incident tool.

Alternatively please contact the Travel Team on 0330 123 0184 all day every day. Please select one of these options below to connect to the travel desk in your area. You can make your selection at any time.

Option 1 – South East (Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hants, IOW, Dorset, Wilts, Thames Valley, Beds, Herts, Northants, Cambs, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, London)

Option 2 – South West (Cornwall, Devon, Avon, Somerset, Gloucestershire)

Option 3 – Midlands (Warwickshire, W Midlands, Staffs, West Mercia, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire)

Option 4 – North England (Cheshire, Merseyside, G Mcr, Lancs, Cumbria, Northumberland, Co Durham, Tyne & Wear, Teesside, Yorkshire, Humberside)

Option 5 - Scotland

Option 6 - Wales

Option 7 – Northern Ireland

Please note, this phone line is to report incidents in to the Travel Team. Unfortunately we are unable to provide individual updates over the phone. For a full list of travel information please check the Travel website.

What are the related travel links and where can they be found?

The related travel links section is a list of external links related to travel information. They are now displayed in all non-incidents related pages.

Which data format does BBC Travel use?

BBC Travel uses TPEG messages. 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.