Coronavirus (COVID-19) Service Updates

Service Updates

We are pleased to announce that following government advice, from Monday 10th August 2020, we will increase the number of services and journeys we operate to match the new higher levels of demand as people return to work, and allow customers to effectively practice social distancing measures.

Generally there is capacity on most of our services, although the busiest period tends to be 0900-1130.

The situation in relation to COVID-19 is fast-moving and this may result in further timetable changes. As soon as these are confirmed, we will communicate the information to our customers here. We recommend that you check back here frequently for further changes.

As the levels of demand increase, it is very important that our customers familiarise themselves with COVID-19 safety guidance when travelling by bus.

Weekday time restriction on the use of Concessionary bus passes has been lifted across our network for the duration of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. All ENCTS passes will be accepted 24/7 until further notice.

We continue to work hard to provide services that meet the basic needs of our customers, and especially key workers, throughout these very difficult times. We have some colleagues self-isolating or shielding, and so dealing with emails and phone calls is a challenge. This website will be updated regularly, so please check back frequently to keep updated on service amendments.

Current service patterns are as follows:


1 Pitsea Service resumes 6th July 2020
105/107 Walton Revised Timetable commencing 6th April
12 Wickford Revised Timetable commencing 28th March
14 Wakering Revised Timetable commencing 28th March
16 Wethersfield Full service resumes 6th July 2020
17 Leigh-on-Sea Service resumes 8th June 2020
200/220 Dengie Withdrawn
21 Braintree Enhanced Timetable commencing 6th July 2020 
24 Southchurch Revised Timetable  commencing 8th June 2020
265 Brentwood Normal Service Timetable
288 Maldon Normal Service Timetable
30 Braintree Enhanced Timetable commencing 6th July 2020
301 Bishops Stortford Full service resumes 6th July 2020
313/A Saffron Walden Saturday Service Timetable
34 Saffron Walden Normal Service Timetable
38/38A Braintree Full service resumes 10th August 2020
39 Witham Revised Timetable commencing 8th June 2020
5/6 Stansted Revised Timetable commencing 28th March
59/590/60 Saffron Walden Full service resumes 6th July 2020
60 Canewdon Full service resumes 8th June 2020
61 Fossetts Park Service resumes 8th June 2020
6a Leigh Station Service resumes 6th July 2020
7 Rochford Revised Timetable commencing 30th March
71/72 Brentwood Saturday service on all days Timetable
71C Brentwood Normal timetable Timetable
9 Great Holland Revised Timetable commencing 6th April
9/9a Great Bardfield Revised Timetable commencing 28th March
90 Maldon Full service resumes 10th August 2020
Breeze 1 Bury St Edmunds Full service resumes  8th June 2020
Breeze 2 Bury St Edmunds Full service resumes  8th June 2020
14/15 Haverhill  Revised Timetable commencing 15th June 2020
16 Newmarket Revised Timetable commencing 15th June 2020


Peak times services to schools are not running at present. However, we are keeping the situation under review in consultation with local authorities and the individual schools concerned.

Keeping our colleagues and customers safe during Covid-19

We have introduced enhanced cleaning procedures throughout our operations. All touchpoints in our buses are sanitised regularly, this includes grab rails, luggage areas, windows, cash trays, ticket machine housings, entrance doors and any other areas which passengers may touch, in order to help prevent the transmission of the virus. We are encouraging our colleagues to wash their hands at regular intervals, and they are also issued with gloves, masks and hand sanitiser for their personal use. Buses circulate air every time they come to a bus stop and most of our buses also have windows that can be opened at any time.

Who may and may not travel?

Following recent Government advice, Stephensons are please to welcome you back aboard our buses.

We request if you feel unwell in any way that you do not travel on any off our services.

If you have coronavirus-like symptoms, stay at home and call 111 if you need help.

Reduced capacity on vehicles

The seating capacity of our buses has temporarily been reduced to the range displayed on the vehicle. No standing is allowed. The exact capacity will vary depending on those passengers who can sit closer together from the same household, and our drivers have been asked to use their discretion. This is in order to help customers to maintain effective social distancing when traveling, and to make our services COVID-19 secure for all who need to use them. This may mean in some cases that your driver may ask you not to board, and to wait for the next bus. If your bus displays “Bus Full” please await the next bus. Drivers are asked to report such instances and if there are frequent examples we will provide extra capacity. Please support our colleagues by remembering to practice social distancing both whilst waiting at the bus stop and onboard- keep your distance from those who don’t live with you and use common sense, and remember it is compulsory to wear a face covering (with certain exemptions).

We also advise that you try to travel before the last service of the day, to avoid the risk of the last bus being full. Should this be the case you will have to arrange your own transport.

Temporary perspex screens

Temporary perspex screens have been added to the cab area all vehicles. These reduce the chance of virus transmission between customers and colleagues, and are cleaned nightly with a chemical that should prevent the virus settling on the screen for up to 72 hours.

Cordoned off seats

We have cordoned off seats closest to the driver to help enforce social distancing. Please help keep everyone safe by not sitting in them.

Bus travel guidelines

We have put up both physical and digital signage to remind customers of social distancing etiquette and safety when traveling by bus during the pandemic. Unless you are traveling with members of the same household, please sit next to a window, with an empty seat both in front of and behind you. Do not stand.

Once you’ve purchased your ticket or showed your pass, please move quickly to a seat and sit down. When alighting,  please do not stand on or near the platform area adjacent to the driver.

Contactless up to £45

Many customers have asked if we still accept cash bus fares during this time and we can confirm that we do, however we actively encourage you to use contactless or mobile payments (up to £45) where possible.

Hand sanitisers, protective gloves and face coverings.

We do not provide hand sanitiser on board our buses. We recommend that customers carry their own and use it prior to boarding and upon alighting from buses, or wear gloves if they prefer. NOTE that it is compulsory to wear a face covering when using public transport and this includes our bus services (there are certain, limited exceptions).

If you are exempt for wearing a face covering, you may choose to use a card or badge to avoid being challenged by our drivers. Such badges are produced by the Government. There is however, no legal requirement to do so.  Click here for templates.

Driving colleagues have been issued with masks, hand sanitiser and protective gloves to help them stay clean, and disinfectant wipes to clean the cab area whenever taking over a vehicle from a colleague.

Assistance for Disabled Travellers

Our drivers will still assist unaccompanied wheelchair users on and off the bus where required, though will practice social distancing wherever possible. Please wear a face covering, and remember that our colleagues are limited to providing basic assistance in the current circumstances.

General Information

The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is our number one priority.

We are following the latest advice from Public Health England, the National Health Service, the World Health Organisation and transport industry bodies.

As the situation evolves, we will continue to engage with government, follow the guidance from public health bodies, and provide advice and updates to you on our services.

For more information, please go to the NHS website

Government advice Website

Information last updated 28th July 2020.