The UK’s Transport for London (TfL) has launched a pilot passenger alert service, under a partnership with online social networking service Twitter.

The service will automatically send direct messages to alert customers about delays on key London overground and TfL rail services, as well as London’s underground Central and District lines.

This is the first time Twitter has partnered with a transport authority to provide live travel information. Users can opt-in to receive instant notifications free of charge, which will be sent straight to their mobile devices or computer.

Twitter’s UK managing director Dara Nasr said: "Twitter is used by millions of Londoners every day to get live travel updates.

"Up-to-the-minute information around severe disruption is a daily must-have for everyone."

"Up-to-the-minute information around severe disruption is a daily must-have for everyone, and the live nature of Twitter is the perfect companion for this."

The service will allow users to customise notifications by selecting the time they would like to receive alerts, avoiding any unnecessary and unwanted information.

Nearly 8,200 developers have registered to use the open travel data provided through TfL’s Unified Application Programme Interface, which provides latest travel information about all TfL services, as well as additional information about road conditions, speed limits, and collision data.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Like every Londoner, I rely on public transport to get around and this world-first service looks set to become an essential tool for millions of Tube passengers.

"It is an innovative way of providing people with live updates from the underground and contributes to my goal of making it as easy as possible to get around the capital."

TfL has recently added a favourites function to its website, which allows passengers to personalise travel information by saving their most frequently used tube, tram, or river bus lines, as well as receiving details about major roads, bus routes, or specific bus stops.