123 Bus Timetable


I go tuition and I really need the 123 Bus (Heading towards Wood Lane).
When I reach to the bus stop there is no timetable for the 123.



It’s not an official TfL source but you could print off one of the following:-


Similar links work for all routes in London. Be warned though that for a high frequency services such as the 123 the bus operatpr would aim to minimise gaps between buses rather than sticking slavishly to the scheduled times.

You should report the precise stop in question to TfL Customer Services though, as there should be something for each route served at the stop.



If you go here

and click on your busstop (well, the arrow at the end of the row), the timetable for that stop is shown.

For example, Bruce Castle Park, stop M


Ah yes, stop specific timetables.
All well and good - unless you really need to know how long the journey is going to take. The expected journey times given at the top of these timetables cannot possibly be accurate both for the early morning and for the peak hours, as the scheduled running times vary so much.
So you might be misled into thinking such and such a bus will get you there for your first lecture when in reality it hasn’t got an earthly. That’s where more traditional timetables become more valuable.




In defence of their position on this: the timetabled services are planned to run at the given times because they are achievable during peak, and can be run to during off-peak. Outside peak, most bus services will wait at a stop to wait for the departure time. The in-bus systems they have show the drivers if they are getting ahead of time and make them wait.

Having said that, one of my finest bits of code this year does auto-generation of TfL Rail train station timetables for the next hour in a format that George Bradshaw would have recognised…


The end-to-end journey time given in the stop specific timetable for the 123 from Wood Green to Ilford on the stop specific timetable is 73 minutes. This is OK for midday but way off for last thing at night (when 50 minutes is allowed) or the evening peak (95 minutes). I would be amazed if 73 minutes was achievable in the peaks and buses would certainly not hang around at bus stops to spin it out to 73 minutes in the late evening!

In the case of the 123, the midday journey times have been used in the SST but I am not sure that this is consistent. I can recall two parallel routes somewhere where one used midday times and the other late night, leading to cracks that the “quicker” bus must be on steroids. But even if TfL always did use the same interpretation of “off peak” (and what do passengers think it means anyway?) it would still grossly overstate journey time at some times and understate it at others. This is an inevitable consequence of simplification. Perhaps too many cannot cope with old fashioned matrix timetables but the SSTs can mislead you into making poor decisions.

Of course Journey Planner itself will give you an estimated journey time. This is accurate for the relevant time of day for low frequency bus services and for rail (whether high or low frequency). But for periods of high frequency operation of buses someone decided that the expected waiting time between buses needed to be added in. Odd decision given that passengers would usually factor in some waiting time anyway. So for the 123 you would have an extra 10 minutes added in during the day but from some point during the evening no addition would be made. Journey Planner results look very odd at that time. It is not obvious that this addition is being made (or when it is being made). Where there are high and low frequency alternative buses, the slower bus may appear to be quicker. Not good if they serve different stops and you miss the bus which is really quicker.

Out of interest, how have you generated the mini-Bradshaw timetable?


I know it is late but thank you for your contribuation. I have to go to tuition on time.