You wait ages for a decent bus map...

New websites are making it easier to plan your bus journey online

Data about public services such as mapping or public transport - with a handful of exceptions - remains locked up in our government departments and local authorities. But some of that data is starting to seep out, and it can be very, very useful. Many people are already aware of how Public Whip managed to "scrape" the online version of Hansard and turn it into something actually useable. But the fight goes on.

Take for instance this, from Surrey County Council. What you will see is a pretty terrible interface to bus timetable information. I mean who ever understood how to "enter a stop reference number"?

It's great they have all this live data about buses, but the presentation is terrible.

So along comes, which has taken that data and'mashed' it up with a map from Google. The result is an incredibly good interface which makes sense of the information. And they are nominated for a NMA award.

The one drawback is that I am unlikely to be able to flip out my laptop at the bus-stop to check when the bus is arriving, but it would be useful if I was about to set off from home or work. Roll on mobiles with a big enough screen and enough power to display this rich information.

Photo: Getty Images/Christopher Furlong
Show Hide image

A dozen defeated parliamentary candidates back Caroline Flint for deputy

Supporters of all the leadership candidates have rallied around Caroline Flint's bid to be deputy leader.

Twelve former parliamentary candidates have backed Caroline Flint's bid to become deputy leader in an open letter to the New Statesman. Dubbing the Don Valley MP a "fantastic campaigner", they explain that why despite backing different candidates for the leadership, they "are united in supporting Caroline Flint to be Labour's next deputy leader", who they describe as a "brilliant communicator and creative policy maker". 

Flint welcomed the endorsement, saying: "our candidates know better than most what it takes to win the sort of seats Labour must gain in order to win a general election, so I'm delighted to have their support.". She urged Labour to rebuild "not by lookin to the past, but by learning from the past", saying that "we must rediscover Labour's voice, especially in communities wher we do not have a Labour MP:".

The Flint campaign will hope that the endorsement provides a boost as the campaign enters its final days.

The full letter is below:

There is no route to Downing Street that does not run through the seats we fought for Labour at the General Election.

"We need a new leadership team that can win back Labour's lost voters.

Although we are backing different candidates to be Leader, we are united in supporting Caroline Flint to be Labour's next deputy leader.

Not only is Caroline a fantastic campaigner, who toured the country supporting Labour's candidates, she's also a brilliant communicator and creative policy maker, which is exactly what we need in our next deputy leader.

If Labour is to win the next election, it is vital that we pick a leadership team that doesn't just appeal to Labour Party members, but is capable of winning the General Election. Caroline Flint is our best hope of beating the Tories.

We urge Labour Party members and supporters to unite behind Caroline Flint and begin the process of rebuilding to win in 2020.

Jessica Asato (Norwich North), Will Straw (Rossendale and Darween), Nick Bent (Warrington South), Mike Le Surf (South Basildon and East Thurrock), Tris Osborne (Chatham and Aylesford), Victoria Groulef (Reading West), Jamie Hanley (Pudsey), Kevin McKeever (Northampton South), Joy Squires (Worcester), Paul Clark (Gillingham and Rainham), Patrick Hall (Bedford) and Mary Wimbury (Aberconwy)

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.