Disambiguation Errors


Journey planner often gives unexpected, and usually unnecessary, disambiguation requestes,

For example:

Unsurprisingly, the API gives the same disambiguation request,

        "place": {
      "$type": "Tfl.Api.Presentation.Entities.StopPoint, Tfl.Api.Presentation.Entities",
      "naptanId": "940GZZLUEFY",
      "modes": [
      "icsCode": "1000067",
      "stopType": "stop",
      "url": "/StopPoint/940GZZLUEFY",
      "commonName": "East Finchley, East Finchley Station",
      "placeType": "StopPoint",
      "additionalProperties": [],
      "lat": 51.58737274427,
      "lon": -0.16503096278999999
    "matchQuality": 1000

I’m guessing that matchQuality gives a clue to why it is asking for disambiguation. But is matchQuality documented anywhere? And does it really need disambiguation, considering that there is only one match and it contains all the words from the question, consecutively and in the same order?

Conversely, try a journey to East Road, Enfield – a place which openstreetmap has no difficulty finding – it’s at https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/96143367

But Journey planner seems to think East Road, Enfield matches Cranfield Road East, Sutton (London) and matches it so well that it doesn’t even offer a disambiguation request, just goes ahead and plans a journey to somewhere that would be most confusing to a visitor who didn’t understand it was clearly wrong:

Somehow, I think the journey planner has got its criteria for disambiguation completely wrong.


On a similar theme, if I specify “Edmonton, Cambridge” you are offered roads in Kilburn, Kensington and Sutton …but not “Edmonton, Cambridge roundabout”. If I specify “Palmers Green, Cambridge” I get no choice but what I get is Cambridge Green somewhere in SE London. So, the word “roundabout” seems essential to get the answer I want.

If I specify “Edmonton, Cambridge roundabout” or “Palmers Green, Cambridge roundabout” I get the right place, described as “Palmers Green, Cambridge roundabout” but I am asked to choose one of the four stops (or stop clusters) on the four main arteries.

Think about this! I have also specified a destination. If only one stop provides journeys to this destination, why am I not just being taken to the results for that stop? This implies that the disambiguation works independently on each data item, without ruling out options made irrelevant by other information.

I might not even know the right stop to specify. If two stops provide suitable buses, it is still illogical to ask me to specify one stop and only see half the picture. Far better to give me the picture for both stops together (though by all means show which stop each option calls at).

I do not know why Journey Planner thinks the roundabout is in Palmers Green when short running buses always show that destination as being in Edmonton.

At the other end of my journey, if I specify “Southgate”, the choices offered include two Southgate Stations, one bus-only and one bus/tube. If I specify “Southgate Station” I only get one station, amongst other options which include other locations including both words.


I’m probably wasting my time reporting another bug, because nobody seems to be fixing them.

But here’s another anyway.

If I type glyn road, enfield (which used to work in the past) without waiting for the dropdown, it goes ahead and plans a journey that starts from a glyn road that’s not in enfield:


It would take a lot longer than 18 minutes to walk to Harlesden – but more to the point, isn’t it clearly obvious that glyn road, enfield matches glyn road, enfield a lot better than it matches glynfield road in some other borough ?