Journey Planner help

Think you know the best way to travel around Tyne & Wear and Northumberland?

The Go Smarter journey planner might just change your mind.

Tell us where you are travelling from and to, and the planner will return results for all modes of transport in one go - allowing you to compare all your options.

This help page will help you get the best out of the journey planner and hopefully answer any questions you may have. If you get stuck at any time, you can bring up the help screen, or press the question mark button to see interactive pop ups pointing out the key functionality. We’re helpful like that!

How does it work?

Rather than sending you to lots of different websites, the journey planner pulls information for a number of different sources and displays them in an easy digestible format, just like a price comparison site.

You tell us when and where and we’ll tell you how.

You’ll get information about what modes to use, how long it will take, when you have to leave.

For the health conscious, we provide information about how many calories you're likely to burn. And, for those worried about the environment, you can see an estimate of the CO2 produced.

How do I plan a journey?

The planner is split into three different sections:

  • Plan
  • Choose
  • Details

They appear as tabs at the top of the screen and you can click on them at any time to return to that tab.


This is where you set your initial parameters. Firstly, we ask for you to set a start and end point for your journey. There are two ways you can do this:

Search boxes

Enter a postcode, location, street, bus stop, Metro or train station or point of interest (try to be as specific as possible) and as you start typing, suggestions will start to appear. Make sure you click on a suggestion before going any further. This will put a pin in the map. If you change your mind, hit the little cross at the side of the field.

Clicking on the map

You can select a start and end point directly from the map. The first click sets the start point and the second will set the end point. Any subsequent clicks will offer the option to set it as either the start or end point.

Did you know…?

If you are using a mobile device, the planner will automatic set the from field with your current location, assuming you have GPS and have allowed the site access

Next you’re asked to tell the planner when you want to make the journey. You can choose to leave immediately, or you can change to a date up to two weeks in advance.

When you’re happy, hit the plan button.

We know some people have more specific requirements, so we have an advanced options section. Here we have a range of customisable options for all modes:


  • Route (quietest, balanced or fastest)
  • Speed (10, 12 or 15mph)
  • Maximum distance (5, 10 or 20 miles)


  • Speed (2, 3.5 or 5mph)
  • Maximum distance (1, 2 or 3 miles)

Public Transport

  • Journey type (fastest, minimum changes, no changes)
  • Maximum walk time (5, 10 or 20 mins)


  • Journey type (quickest or shortest)


On this screen, the journey planner will offer a summary of all the available options in a handy comparison table. This shows when you have to leave, when you will arrive, how many calories you will burn and how much CO2 will be emitted.

For public transport, you will see a breakdown of the journey including what bus, train and Metro services you’ll need to use as well as service numbers.

Clicking on one of the results will take you to more detailed information.

Did you know…?

On a desktop, you can hover over a result to see an overview of the route on the interactive map.

Did you know…?

You can change your start and end point and travel time directly from the Choose tab. Just amend the field at the very top.


This tab will give you a much more detailed breakdown of the journey you are making and show you exactly where to go on the map. The linear display gives you a step-by-step guide of how to complete you journey. Clicking on a particular step will zoom into that stage on the map.

If you’re looking at a public transport result, there is information of boarding and alighting, service number and operator. For cycle results, an elevation graph is provided along with detailed turn-by-turn information include prompts for where you might need to dismount on pedestrianised streets.

Did you know…?

You can change your start and end point and travel time directly from the Choose tab. Just amend the field at the very top.

Did you know…?

You can print the information in the details tab. Just press the little printer icon button above the instructions.

And that’s it…simple as that!

Where can I plan a journey?

The Go Smarter journey planner has comprehensive coverage for the North East (Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and the Tees Valley) as well as Cumbria and North Yorkshire.

How far in advance can I plan?

The Go Smarter journey planner will allow you to plan journeys up to two weeks in advance.

You may want to go further, but Traveline only guarantees information for the next 14 days, so we wouldn’t want to provide you with incorrect information.

We always recommend double-checking a couple of days before you travel to make sure there have been no last minute changes.

Where does the journey planner get its information?

We draw data from a number of different sources depending on the mode of transport:

  • Public Transport (Traveline North East)
  • Cycle (Cycle Streets)
  • Walk and Drive (MapQuest)

The address look-up merges a number of different sources together to make the results as accurate as possible:

  • National Public Tansport Access Nodes (NaPTAN): bus stops, Metro and trains stations
  • National Public Transport Gazetteer (NPTG): localities, suburbs and centres
  • Nominatim: streets
  • FourSquare: points of interest
  • Postcodes: National Postcode dataset
  • Map selection: Bing

How do you calculate calories burnt and CO2 emissions?

​ Please note that this information should only be used a guide as the calculations are approximated.

  • Walking is based on a person weighing 75Kg (165lb) and as a guide, walking at around 2-3mph will burn approximately 75 calories every mile.
  • Cycling is based on a person weighing 75Kg (165lb) and as a guide, cycling at around 12mph will approximately burn 60 calories every mile.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions for car journeys are provided. The calculations are based on 400g per typical UK car mile.

What if I disagree with the information provided?

We want to make sure that the information provided is as accurate as it can be, so please do let us know if you spot anything.

Public transport data is managed entirely by Traveline North East. If you think the planner is returning odd results, the best thing to do is go and check if the same thing is happening on the Traveline journey planner. If it is, you can report the problem directly to them and they’ll make any necessary changes.

Our cycle, walk and drive routes use data from OpenStreetMap (OSM), which is a completely open source mapping system. Anyone can sign up for an account and edit the mapping on their website.

So if you favourite cycle track is missing you can go in and add it yourself and then within a couple of days it’ll appear in a journey plan. How cool is that? For guidance you can visit OSM’s Wiki pages.

Is the address database missing a point of interest that matters to you? Then you add it yourself by the FourSquare website. You just need to sign up for account and then you can add anything that’s missing online or via the app. If someone else has put something in the wrong place, you can also edit it.

What browsers are supported?

It’s always a good idea to make sure that you are using the most up to date version of any web browser to make sure you get the best experience. The Go Smarter website offers the following compatibility:

Desktop Browsers

  • Internet Explorer: 8+
  • Google Chrome: 25+
  • Mozilla Firefox: 20+
  • Apple Safari: 6+

Mobile/Tablet Browsers

We support Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and stock Android browsers but you need to make sure you are running at least iOS6 or Android version 4 or above.

Go to the Journey Planner.