Road closures - making good provision for bus services

How to support communities during essential planned works by making good provision for bus services – a guide for those working on the highway

Buses get people to work, school, the shops, healthcare and to see friends and family. They are disproportionately used by vulnerable people including people with a disability, older people, younger people and women. Ensuring people can continue to travel during road closures or streetworks is a safeguarding issue.

This guide relates to road closures only.

These requirements are separate from and additional to your application for a permit for the works.

  • Step 1: Check to see if bus services are impacted by your works

    Before you make your permit application you need to check whether a bus route is impacted. You do this by viewing the Essex Bus Info Map using the map below or visiting

    Click on the bus stop nearest the position where the closure or works will take place - a pop up box appears. If you click the highlighted text you can see the bus route. If you click the icon you will see the operator name and timetable for the service.

    Screenshot of Essex Bus Info Map showing popup

    If your works involve a road closure and impacts a bus service you will need to contact the Integrated Passenger Transport Unit (IPTU) in Essex County Council on the following email You will need to agree with them how bus services are managed during the closure. You will pay a fee as part of your permit fee to cover the cost of the management of the road closure.

    If you can, contact IPTU in advance of submitting your road closure application. Discussions are in principle and subject to change as the permits team will need to assure the permit application as part of the formal process.

    Any bus route diversion due to a planned road closure which is expected to last longer than 14 days requires a variation with Essex County Council and The Office of the Traffic Commissioner.  This variation will need to be with the Local Authority 70 days ahead of the planned works, and the usual Local Authority Notification (LAN) period applies. It is therefore essential that IPTU are notified of any lengthy planned closures well in advance of a permit application being made.

  • Step 2: FOR PLANNED ROAD CLOSURES ONLY Contact the IPTU mailbox with the following information:

    • The location and duration of the closure and which bus services you have identified as being impacted (the dates and times of the works and the district affected should be in the subject line of the e-mail).
    • The nature of the closure and the impact.
    • You should also propose a solution to enable bus services to continue to operate. There is a hierarchy of solutions to follow set out below. You should consider how you make each option work in priority order and only move on to the next option if a preceding option is impossible to deliver. It is possible that making changes which enable bus services to run could increase the length of time the works take or increase the cost. However, because bus services are critical to many often vulnerable people and their disruption can cause genuine hardship, it is important to put the best measures you can in place.
      • Can works be undertaken at times outside of the bus services’ operation e.g over night?
        ✔ If yes, propose this as the solution.
        ✖ If no, then look at the next option.
      • Can works take place at weekends to minimise disruption?
        ✔ If yes, propose this as the solution.
        ✖ If no, then look at the next option.
      • Can works be undertaken outside the peak travel periods (0800 to 0930 and 1430 to 1800) and avoiding school travel times or in school holidays?
        ✔ If yes, propose this as the solution.
        ✖ If no, then look at the next option.
      • Can buses be escorted/convoyed through the site?
        ✔ If yes, propose this as the solution.
        ✖ If no, then look at the next option.
      • Can a diversion route ensure that all new stops on that route are within 10 minutes walk of existing stops?
        ✔ If yes, propose this as the solution.
        ✖ If no, then look at the next option.
      • Can a shuttle service be provided to enable travel (this will be sourced and funded by IPTU)?
        We would need to see evidence of why the above options would not work in order to consider this option.

    The IPTU will also consider other solutions.

    IPTU will acknowledge your email and work with you on your proposed solution, either by agreeing it or by proposing an alternative. IPTU will be discussing this option with the bus operator or operators (including home to school transport services) to ensure it is workable and bus drivers will be able to accommodate it.

  • Step 3: FOR ROAD CLOSURES ONLY Agree a solution with IPTU

    When you have reached agreement with IPTU on a solution make sure you have an email confirming that agreed solution.

  • Step 4: FOR ROAD CLOSURES ONLY Implement the agreed solution

    Make sure that the solution you have agreed is in place and is understood by the operational teams on the site. If you need to liaise with operators you can contact IPTU again.

    Continue to work with IPTU and the operator, particularly if anything changes – such as the length of the closure or works.

    Complete works and remove the restrictions as quickly as possible.