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History and purpose of HarlowRide
This site was set up in 1999 with one main purpose, which
was to bring together all-operator bus travel information relevant to
Harlow in Essex with an objective of promoting bus travel to the public
via the internet. The trigger to set the site up was when, having moved
to Harlow myself, even given my relatively informed background as an
enthusiast, I began to realise just how difficult it was to understand
the information that was available, and how easily the public, my wife
included, are put
off. I should add that, at the time, almost nothing was available on the
The guiding principals
of the site are as follows.
The services of all
operators are promoted is an equal and fair manner, as are
commercial and contracted services.
The site is free to
operators and to the public.
The site promotes
what we believe operates, and not necessarily what is registered.
A positive but
realistic style of language is used.
will only be shown where it is otherwise published (typically pass prices) or
common knowledge in the public domain (e.g. the main town fares).
respected and only information supplied to us, or that which is in the
public domain and unrestricted, is used on this site
Discrete static banner ads
are permitted and a small fee is charged. Please note that in no year so far has this
even covered the hosting cost for the site. Service or fares
promotions by local operators will generally be added without
Since the site was set
up, many operators have established their own sites, and traveline has
come into existence, so why does HarlowRide continue?
1. Individual sites don't exist for all operators yet, and even where they do,
quite naturally they don't paint the full network picture to the
prospective passenger. A member of the public may not know all possible
operators to look for when they want to see if a journey is possible,
and even if they do, they are unlikely to have the patience to look at
them all. Additionally, many tendered
services are not promoted by their operators at all.
2. Traveline presents only a limited picture
on the journey planner, and is not always accurate or useful. Otherwise
it offers a single route by route timetable, which can
make the service to a given destination appear unattractive.
HarlowRide remains the only place on the net where you can view just the
Harlow network, but all of it, and see all the bus journeys to a given
destination, with a 24/7 snapshot on one page. It also offers a
personalised e-mail reply service to enquirers. I believe the site is
used and valued by many passengers, and has successfully encouraged new
bus users onto the services of all operators in the town (and beyond!).
The enthusiasts section was added as a way of giving something back to
like-minded folk, and in this section only, as it is not likely to be read by the
public, I may venture into some personal opinion.
The site is run voluntarily and for many years has been funded
privately. Whilst ideally it would always be up to date, obtaining
accurate and timely information remains challenging. I
am highly grateful to a small band of supporters who supply information to assist
with the upkeep of both sections of the site. More direct support
from operators would be of even greater use.
How to support HarlowRide
The quality of what can be done is mainly in the hands of
the information we have. Ideally we like to have:
- A named contact who can respond to enquiries from this site, generally
in 24 hours.
- A full set of current timetables (first-hand from the operator is
- Four weeks notice of any route or timetable changes, so that we can
prepare updates and publish at least two weeks in advance.
- A current set of fare-tables and some notice of changes. These are used to respond to e-mail
enquiries related to particular destinations and are not published in full.
- Vehicle news updates are of interest (and will be shared with LOTS).
In return we will:
- Advertise a service change.
- Present up to date detail information wherever possible.
- Be best placed to respond accurately to the many e-mail enquiries that we receive
Please don't assume I will just find the information I need. Although I have
local contacts to whom I am indebted, the author of this site moved away
from Harlow for career reasons in 2004.
If you are an operator and willing to support this site, please e-mail
the author directly at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I will willingly identify operators who can
provide the support requested above as partners to the site, if they so
web-author, HarlowRide Bus Travel Information Service
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Last update 12th April 2014
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