Supported local bus services

What are supported local bus services? 

Most buses in Essex are run by commercial busineses without subsidy from the local authority.  Essex County Council refers to the running of these services as being "on a commercial basis". These companies range from small, family-run businesses to big multi-national companies. You can see a list of local bus operators in Essex by clicking here.

A small percentage of bus services or routes are run with financial support from Essex County Council (ECC).  You can find the latest list of services at the bottom of this webpage.

Passengers can check The National Traveline Service, available at: for details of current timetables.

ECC Bus service consultations look to understand the impact of service changes to people using the service as well as ensuring the service meets the criteria set out by the Bus Strategy "Getting Around in Essex".  You can see details of the Getting Around in Essex Strategy by clicking here.

What can I find on these pages?

On these pages you can find the following information:

  • Bus services or routes which are run with financial support from ECC
  • 2017 Consultations on individual service changes (including services that are being consulted on for potential withdrawal or service reduction).
  • Timetable amendments or new timetables following a tender process completion w.e.f 27 August 2017
  • Services to be withdrawn following a tender process w.e.f 27 August 2017

Ongoing consultations

Consultation - Service 41 Evening Services (Chelmsford – Galleywood)

Operated by: First Essex Buses

17 January 2018 – 28 February 2018

Background: First Essex Buses are making changes to their day time commercial Service 41 and ECC would like to mirror these changes on our evening journeys and renumber it to Service 57.

Proposed Timetable: The service will no longer serve the whole of Baddow Road.  Instead it will travel down Meadgate Avenue, Longmead Avenue and re-join the current route at Vineyards in Gt Baddow.

How to consult with us: Questionnaires will also be available from the driver on the bus, or online at


Consultation - Service 441 Currently Old Harlow Post Office – Saffron Walden HS (Monday – Friday, schooldays only)

Operated by: Stephenson’s of Essex

14 February 2018 – 28 March 2018

Background: In January 2018 Stephenson’s of Essex incorporated the ECC funded journey (Old Harlow – Little Hallingbury), into their commercial 441 Takeley to Saffron Walden service.

Proposal: As the ECC funded section of the route is not well used, it is proposed that the section will be removed & the commercial 441 service will revert back to previous timetable (ie Takeley to Saffron Walden High School)

How to consult with us: Questionnaires will also be available from the driver on the bus, by phoning 03457 430 430 or online at 

2017 Closed consultations

Local Bus Network Review Consultation November 2016

Closed 03 January 2017:

In 2015, Essex County Council began a thorough review of its financial support for those local bus services that it pays for across the County.  This consultation is part of the second round of the review and looks at 8 services in the Maldon Area where the current contracts end in 2017.  

For a list of the services included in this consultation please see the document section below.

Outcome: You will also find the latest list of bus services or routes which are run with financial support from ECC following the latest local bus tenders below.

Consultation on Service Changes for August 2017

Closed: 03 July 2017

  • Saturday Service 9 Braintree, Panfield, Shalford, Wethersfield, Finchingfield to Great Bardfield (via Panfield Lane)
  • Monday - Saturday Evening Service 250 Debden/Loughton to Waltham Cross
  • Monday - Saturday Evening Service 251 Upshire, Waltham Abbey to Waltham Cross

OUTCOME: Services to be withdrawn from 27 August 2017. Please click here for the document list of service withdrawals.


Consultation - Service 2, Clacton to Mistley (Operated by First Buses)

Closed: 26 June 2017

The proposed timetable attempt to address reliability issues by changing the timings of journeys and removing the short afternoon journey from Clacton to Horsley Cross and return.

OUTCOME: Service change from 24 September 2017 

Consultation - Service SB39 (Boxted - Colcester)

Operated by: Colchester Community Services

Closed 16 October 2017

Since October 2016, ECC has provided this service on a trial basis. Passenger numbers have been low and the cost per passenger journey is more than the £5.00 per passenger maximum level the council will support after fares are taken into account. (The policy can be found at: 

OUTCOME: Service being withdrawn from 31 January 2018.  

Consultation - Service 15 (Colchester – Marks Tey)

Operated by:Hedingham Omnibus

Closed 16 October 2017

The service has been operating the current timetable for over a year now but passenger numbers have been disappointing. The Council is considering reverting this bus service its previous route,(Colchester, Oaklands Avenue – Colchester North Station), providing a broadly ½ hour service 05.25 – 07.10 and 17.55 – 19.40 

OUTCOME: Currently being assessed.


Consultation - Service 94C (Sunday South Woodham Circular)

Operated by:First Essex Buses

Closed 27 November 2017

Consultation on withdrawal of service in order to address reliability on Sunday Service 33 (Chelmsford   - Southminster) 

Outcome: Sunday Service 94C NOT withdrawn 

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