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Google Maps massively upgrades public transport coverage in the UK

Google has expanded its public transport data for the UK with Google Maps now covering a far wider scope, bus and train users will doubtless be pleased to hear.

Previously there were public transit directions with Google's mapping app, but they were limited (mainly to London and the south), whereas now that's expanding to cover not just the whole of England, but also Scotland and Wales.

Google is using Traveline data to bring users of its iOS and Android apps, and web service, schedules from around 1,500 transport operators, with times for buses and trains, and also trams and ferries. In total, some 17,000 routes have been incorporated in what Google's public transport product manager David Tattersall told the BBC was a "frightening amount of data".

And if a hunk of data scares Google, well – it must be frightening. Tattersall added: "It's every single train, bus, tram and ferry right down to the small request stops as well as the major National Express coaches."

We'll never be able to read the words National Express without thinking of the superb Divine Comedy song...

Anyway, you'll be able to search for routes, and also details such as any stops you'll need to change at, with users being able to compare and contrast to find the option which will be the least hassle in terms of switching buses or trains. And Maps will also let you know how much walking you'll have to do across the city between stations.

As Google will be using the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format for Traveline's transport data, it will also be possible to make the data available for use by other third-party app developers (for a fee if their app is well-trafficked, of course – those with a smaller user base will be able to freely access the data, apparently).

Google certainly isn't standing still with Maps, as it fully revamped the app back in February.