When we started our new service 38/38A linking Halstead, Braintree, Silver End and Witham, we promised you brand new buses. Well, the wait\'s almost over! Five new British-built buses have been delivered from Alexander Dennis and are being prepared for service - fitting CCTV, ticket machines and so on.
So watch out for our smart new buses in their attractive Three Rivers route colours - coming to the 38/38A soon!
But if you can\'t wait to see them, there\'s a sneak preview HERE.
From Monday January 11th, we are altering the routes of these buses which serve St John Payne school, Chelmsford because passenger numbers have fallen. The changes are:
Bus 620 will no longer run. Instead, Silver End passengers should use bus 623 and passengers in Braintree, Black Notley & Great Leighs can use bus 621, which is being re-routed. We are sorry but there will no longer be a service in Bocking, the nearest stops on the 621 will be at Braintree College and in Coldnailhurst Avenue. Passengers from Black Notley will have a separate shuttle which will connect into the main bus at White Courts. This is a guaranteed connection but will only be available to term ticket holders.
Bus 621 will be diverted within Braintree to serve some stops previously on the 620.
Bus 623 will start from Silver End; from Witham onwards there is no change to the route or times.
As most commuters will now be aware, c2c are making radical changes to train times from mid-December. We need to adjust the 6A commuter bus to suit, but it is not yet clear how rail passengers will adapt to the new times. But we expect that many of you will catch the trains that start or finish at Leigh, which generally run every 15 minutes. Hence the changes we are making from December 14th are an interim response whilst new travel patterns settle down.
You can see the new times HERE.
Once travel preferences become clearer, in the new year, we will review the times again and will welcome feedback - but please give it a week or two for everyone to get used to the new train times and to establish preferences.
And as advance notice, on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, as usual we will run at normal times in the morning but earlier on the way home - again we will connect with the trains that terminate at Leigh, so homeward buses on those two days will go at 1440, 1510, 1540, 1610, 1640 and 1710.
Our new bus 21, Black Notley to the town centre, is already running. From Monday November 2nd we start the extended services 38 & 38A, all the way from Witham to Halstead, serving Rivenhall, Silver End, Cressing, Tye Green, Freeport (bus 38) or Stubbs Lane (for Alec Hunter school, bus 38A), Braintree town centre, Queens Road, Deanery Gardens, Bocking Church Street, High Garrett and Gosfield. Buses run every 30 minutes between Witham and Bocking Deanery Gardens, extended every hour to Halstead. Some buses go via Braintree College, see separate news story for details.
Our new buses 38 & 38A replace First Essex buses 131 & 132 and the north end of bus 21.
We look forward to welcoming you on board our new services! Full times are available HERE.
Please bear with us over the next few days as our drivers and passengers get to grips with the new routes and times! We\'re doing our best.
Most fares will be the same or similar to the old First services but some may be a little different. We are offering special value day and weekly tickets over various parts of the route:
Halstead Rover - anywhere between Halstead and Braintree Bus Park for £4 a day, £15 a week.
Braintree Rover - anywhere between Bocking and Fowlers Farm (A120 junction) for £3.60 a day, £15 a week and £50 for 4-weeks. Also valid on our 21 bus.
Witham Rover - anywhere in Witham town, including Conrad Road, for £3 a day, £14 a week. Also valid on our buses 39, 40 & 90.
And if you want the freedom of the whole of routes 21, 38 & 38A, ask for the Three Rivers Rover, £6 daily, £23 weekly.
All these value tickets can be bought from your driver.
We\'re starting new bus routes 38 & 38A on November 2nd and selected journeys will serve Braintree College on Mondays to Fridays. The trips concerned are as follows:
From Halstead: the 0740 from Halstead Colne Road, arriving at the College at 0811.
From Witham: the buses from Witham Station at 0727 and 0747 both go via the College. They call at Braintree Bus Park at 0809 and 0833, arriving at College at 0815 and 0839. We would encourage students to use the first of the two buses where possible, to avoid overloading on the second trip.
To Halstead: buses pass the College at 1546 and 1646 [these times are not shown in our Three Rivers leaflet].
To Braintree town centre and Witham: buses pass the College at 1601, 1631, 1701 and 1731.
At other times of day, you can catch buses 38 & 38A from Queens Road shops bus stop, about an 8 minute walk from the College along Coldnailhurst Avenue. To see the full timetable, click HERE.
Term passes issued by First Essex buses specifically for travel to and from Braintree College will be accepted on our buses. We will publish details of our own term tickets here in due course.
From November 2nd, the service to Ebenezer Close and Church Street will be numbered 40 (instead of 38) and will run as a shuttle to and from the town centre in Witham, still serving Morrisons, the station and Collingwood Road. Most buses will run at the same times as the current service, except the mid afternoon buses on Mondays to Fridays which are retimed and now give later buses back from the town centre. The service will be operated by Arrow Taxis on behalf of Stephensons, but don\'t worry, you can still use your Concession Pass and Stephensons\' Witham day tickets.
For the new times, please click HERE.
We are now able to confirm our planned new timetables, click HERE to view. They include the extension of buses once an hour to Halstead and retiming of some early morning buses to improve connections in Witham and Braintree.
To operate our new services in the Braintree area we are looking to recruit qualified pcv drivers. We are offering a £1,000 welcome bonus (subject to terms & conditions, naturally).
If you want to be part of a small team at a local depot driving our regular customers to school, work or the shops, and can deliver service with a smile, then get in touch now! You’ll need a current driver CPC card and the ability to obtain a DBS clearance. It’s also essential you’re reliable and enthusiastic.
In exchange for your commitment, we offer:
If you think we might get on with each other, call 01702 541511, or click HERE for more information and to download an application form. We also have vacancies at other depots.
Following publication of our plans to start new services to replace routes that First Buses are giving up, we\'ve been approached by passengers, parish and town councils, and we have had discussions with the County Council. As a result of that feedback we became aware that there would be a serious gap in the services between Braintree and Halstead, especially for Bocking Church Street and Gosfield.
As a result, to meet these community needs, we have decided to expand our plans and intend to run an hourly service beyond Braintree through to Halstead, continuing from Bocking (Deanery Gardens) through Bocking Church Street, High Garrett and Gosfield, and serving Colne Road in Halstead, to replace First Buses 131/2. We are currently awaiting approval from the bus industry regulator for the new timetable and will publish full details as soon as that approval is granted.
In addition, to response to requests for improved connections at Witham Station from Silver End and in Braintree onto First bus 70 to Broomfield Hospital, we plan to retime the first two morning buses between Witham and Braintree and vice versa. Again, this is subject to approval and we will publish updated times in due course.