MySociety is one of the enduring examples of simple use of internet tools to support community and democracy in the UK. Now they've created a new tool, Travel-time Maps, which addresses some of the holes in other online trip-planning map services.
Essentially, rather than find travel routes based upon known destinations, you can find out how long it takes to get to certain places using various modes of transit, and choose your destination based upon that information (useful in making decisions about where to work, where to live, or where to enjoy leisure travel).
The colour scale is in hours of total travel time. Warm colours indicate short travel timered for four hours or less, orange and yellow for four to eight hoursand cool colours longer journeys...Areas with no colour at all...cannot be reached at all by rail and a taxi journey of up to one hour.
The MySociety mappers would like to extend this service to gradations according to cost, in addition to travel time; a comparison of journey times to housing prices, which would aid prospective home buyers in choose where to live; better modal comparison maps for rail and road transit; and real-time capabilities for producing on-demand maps.