Google Maps update adds public transport data for Britain

Google Maps has today released the largest update its service has ever seen by adding public transport data for travellers all across Great Britain.

Today Google is adding bus, train, ferry and tram departure times and routes for users of its mobile and desktop mapping service.

Prior to this new update users of the application could only see live transport data for London and the south-east, but from Wednesday users will have access to data in England, Wales and Scotland.

Both the iOS and Android apps as well as its desktop companion will be able to search National Express and Traveline data, in addition to 1,500 other operators such as Centro and Merseyside. Google has also added approximately 17,000 routes along with 34,000 stopping points, ferry ports and stations.

Google Maps' product manager said of the new update: “In Britain, public transport is part of the national psyche."

"The biggest changes will be on mobile, as devices are becoming more and more powerful and they’re things we spend a lot of time with. We’re aiming to really improve users’ lives.”

Google is the far away leader in the mapping industry but in recent years tech rivals across the globe have built their own mapping applications to rival Google's own.

Nokia's Here mapping service runs on all Windows Phone 8 enabled devices and has some live data of its own but is limited to only transport data on the mainland.

Apple wiped Google Maps off of all Apple devices and swapped it for their own new mapping system in 2012. Apple Maps was heavily criticised in the early stages for being poorly designed and inaccurate, and it doesn't have any live transport data at all.

Users of the Google Maps mobile application should receive an update at some point today.