We are now able to publish times for our new services in Braintree and linking Braintree to Witham via Silver End, in partial replacement for services that First Essex Buses are withdrawing.
From October 19 (subject to regulatory approval), we will run a new service 21 from Black Notley to Braintree, every half an hour, replacing that part of First Bus 21.
Also from October 19 (subject to regulatory approval) for two weeks, we will also provide an interim shuttle to part of the Beckers Green area to replace a section of First Bus route 30.
Then from November 2nd, our new service 38/38A starts, every 30 minutes, linking Bocking (Deanery Gardens) with Braintree town centre (replacing First 21/21A there) and continuing to Silver End and Witham, alternately via Freeport (bus 38) or via part of Beckers Green (38A), replacing First services 131/2.
To see full details, please click HERE. See also a subsequent news item dated September 15.
Bus 38 is being extended from Witham on to Braintree and this will mean new times for the off-peak buses in Witham to and from Allectus Way. But don\'t worry, buses will still run every 30 minutes. The new times can be viewed HERE.
For times of the service right through to Braintree, please see our separate Braintree news item.
Due to road closures on Newland Street for the Witham International Puppet Festival on Saturday September 19th, our buses will be delayed.
Your drivers will do their best but please bear with us, closing a critical section of the road in the town centre causes serious problems for timekeeping on our routes, and is outside our control!
Buses 9 and 10 coming from Great Notley towards Braintree will be diverted to run direct from London Road to the Bus Park and will NOT serve the stops in Rayne Road and Coggeshall Road.
This is a temporary measure whilst work is carried out on the traffic lights at the London Road / Pierrefitte Way / High St junction, which we expect to cause delays to buses.
The diversion will only last whilst the roadworks are in place, for about 6 weeks.
Buses towards Great Notley are NOT affected but might be delayed slightly.
Roadworks on Springfield Road in Chelmsford are causing minor delays to our new bus service 73 that started today. We apologise for any inconvenience, the roadworks are outside of our control.
The new school year is about to start. Not all schools start back on the same days however, meaning that buses which run on schooldays only will not all start on the same day. In summary the first days that Stephensons buses will run are:
Southend and Westcliff area schools - Wednesday 2nd
Rochford, King Edmund - Wednesday 2nd
Rayleigh, Sweyne Park - Thursday 3rd
Thundersley, King John - Wednesday 2nd
Chelmsford area schools - Wednesday 2nd
Gt Baddow High - Thursday 3rd
Burnham on Crouch, Ormiston Rivers - Friday 4th
Maldon, Plume School - Monday 7th
Colchester area schools - Monday 7th
Saffron Walden County High - Wednesday 2nd
Newport, Joyce Frankland Academy - Monday 7th
UPDATE: timetables now available, see separate news item.
Essex-based independent bus company Stephensons, who already operate a number of services in the Witham and Braintree areas, have announced they will be stepping in to provide replacement services for many of the routes withdrawn by First from November 2nd.
The company will provide services, broadly at current frequencies, between Witham and Braintree via Silver End and Cressing (replacing 131/132), and from Braintree Bus Park to Bocking Deanery Gardens, and to Black Notley (service 21). Alternate journeys on the service from Witham will operate via Cressing Road and Stubbs Lane to replace service 30 in that area.
Managing Director Bill Hiron explained:
“We are a local company and very much part of the communities we serve. Once we learned of First’s decision to close its Braintree operation, we looked closely at what we could viably operate. Our bus services are highly regarded for their reliability and friendly drivers, and we have successfully taken on services withdrawn by others in the past, re-invigorating them with our local emphasis and high quality operation. Five brand new single-deck buses are on order for these new routes at a cost well in excess of £500,000 and we will be opening a small base in the town. We look forward to welcoming customers old and new to these new routes ‘’
The company will also be recruiting staff for its new depot, and would welcome applications from bus drivers currently working in the town who can deliver customer-focussed, friendly service and want to remain locally-based.
Fuller details of the new services, including timetable leaflets will be available in the coming weeks from Witham and Braintree Tourist Information Centres and details will also be on this website.
On Saturday September 12, the Aviva Mens Tour of Britain cycle race will be passing through Bury St Edmunds between about 1300 and 1400, leading to some short term road closures through the town centre and through Fornham. This will inevitably lead to some disruption to our buses, particularly Breeze 1 and 2, and to the service 16 bus due into Bury at 1300 and leaving at 1330. Buses may have to park up whilst the road is blocked.
Please bear with us, your drivers will do their best to run as close to normal times as they can, but there may be some gaps in the Breeze service.
You can read more about the race HERE - why not use our buses to get into town to see the race and avoid the hassle of parking.
Large operator drops local service, Stephensons save the day!
Bus 9 is currently on diversion, instead of using Churchill Road our buses have been diverted along Panfield Lane by the Police because of a fallen tree.