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Demand Responsive Transport (DaRT)

DaRT Services

The DaRT services provide a Demand Responsive Transport in rural areas of Northern Essex and The Dengie Peninsula in Maldon.

You can find the following information on this page:



How to book onto the service

You can call: 

  • Maldon Area: 01621 874410
  • North Essex Area: 01621 874411



How does the service work?

Demand Responsive Transport is provided by a number of minibus vehicles, typically accommodating between 8 and 16 passengers. They would differ from the current bus services, in that they are totally flexible and can divert on and off route to collect and drop off passengers within their operating area. The current demand responsive or DaRT service works by grouping bookings together to make it viable. It is not a taxi service, as there must be sufficient volume of passengers with similar itineraries. Most DaRT work is former bus routes, and group bookings. But unlike a large bus, DaRT only needs three or four passengers to make a group booking. And, when not operating a timetabled bus route or group booking, vehicles may be available for individual runs where no alternative transport is available. DaRT operates between 0600 and 2000 Mondays to Saturdays inclusive.

Also, unlike a conventional bus, a passenger must book their seat, and register as a customer, at least two hours in advance of travel. But, if passengers wish to travel regularly, they do not need to book every single time they travel, as they can make a regular booking which last for three months.


How much does it cost?


(age over 18)
(age 11 to age 18 inclusive)
(2 adults, 2 children)
Distance Single Return Single Return Single Return
Less than 2 miles £2.50 £3.50 £1.50 £2.00 £4.00 £6.00
Between 2 and 5 miles £4.50 £6.50 £2.50 £3.50 £7.00 £12.00
More than 5 miles £5.50 £8.00 £3.00 £4.50 £10.00 £16.00


Please note: Service F315 fares are exempt from this fare chart, operating on a basic fare structure of £2.50 single and £4.00 return.

Concessionary bus passes are accepted after 0900 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturdays.  


Where does the DaRT run?

DaRT operates in the following areas:

  • DaRT 1 – operates in West Uttlesford and takes passengers from Arkesden, Berden, Chrishall, Clavering, Elmdon, Farnham, Langley, Littlebury, Manuden, Quendon and Rickling, Strethall, Wendon Lofts and Wicken Bonhunt to Saffron Walden and Bishops Stortford.

    For flexible timetables download our DaRT 1 leaflet and timetable (PDF)
  • DaRT 2 – operates in North Uttlesford / West Braintree and takes passengers from Bardfield Saling, Chickney, Debden, Gt Bardfield, Great Easton, Great Saling, Great Samford, Lindsell, Little Barfield, Little Easton, Little Sampford, Radwinter, Stebbing, Thaxted, Tilty and Wimbish to Saffron Walden, Haverhill and Braintree.

    For flexible timetables download our DaRT 2 leaflet and timetable (PDF)
  • DaRT 3 – operates in North East Braintree and takes passengers from Alphamstone, Ashen, Belchamp Otten, Belchamp St. Paul, Belchamp Walter, Birdbrook, Borley, Bulmer, Bures Hamlet, Colne Engaine, Earls Colne, Foxearth, Gestingthorpe, Great Henny, Great Maplestead, Great Yeldham, Greenstead Green. Halstead Town, Lamarsh, Liston, Little Henny, Little Maplestead, Little Yeldham, Middleton, Ovington, Pebmarsh, Pentlow, Ridgewell, Stambourne, Steeple Bumpstead, Tilbury Juxta Clare, Toppesfield, Twinstead, Wickham St. Paul and White Colne to Haverhill, Sudbury and Halstead.

    For flexible timetables download our Dart 3 leaflet and timetable (PDF)
  • DaRT 4 – operates in Asheldham, Bradwell, St Lawrence, Tillingham, Maple Way, Southminster to Burnham-on-Crouch (previously D4). 
  • DaRT 5 – operates in the Dengie area and takes passengers along a route including South Woodham Ferrers, Burnham-on-Crouch, Althorne, North Fambridge, Cold Norton and Latchingdon. 

    For further details and a route map please visit the Arrow Taxi website.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If it is demand responsive, why are there some timetabled journeys?

There are two reasons for this

  1. Introducing new DaRT services by removing all timetables causes some confusion: new DaRT services are introduced with a flexible timetable and in the main continue along the same route. This ensures all customers on the old timetabled route are included on the new service. As a new DaRT service builds passenger numbers additional journey options can be introduced.
  2. Feedback from working group meetings requested publicity shows flexible routes and a timetable guide. It is felt that it is easier for new customers to understand and reflects the preferred travel patterns.

If waiting for a timetabled journey how long should I wait?

When you book you will be given a time, please be at the agreed pick up point 10 minutes before and you may need to wait 10 minutes after the agreed time. The DaRT service you are waiting for may divert to pick up a customer, this is the nature of a demand responsive service.

What sort of vehicle will be used?

8 to 16 seat vehicles with the DaRT logo.  

Can passengers take their shopping trolleys?

Yes. There will be a luggage "caged" area in the mini bus for trolleys. It is advisable to mention if you have a shopping trolley or luggage when booking the service. There is no additional charge for a shopping trolley

Can you travel by yourself?

Yes, a taxi may be used when the numbers travelling are very small.

How will hospital appointments work?

When travel is booked generally the return journey time is also booked. The passenger has the option to change it but if it is less than 2 hours’ notice needs to be flexible.

Essex Saver Tickets

Machines are currently being fitted to issue tickets on some DaRT journeys; otherwise Essex Saver Tickets are being issued manually and are accepted by First Buses. 

Does the DaRT mean that I can travel every day?

You can travel any time between:
  • On DaRT 1, 2 3 and 5 Monday to Saturday: 6AM to 8PM
  • On DaRT 4 and 5 Monday to Friday
    • 6AM - 8AM
    • 9AM - 2:30PM
    • 4PM to 8PM
    • During 8AM-9AM and 2:30PM-4PM, the service provides school transport, so we cannot provide journeys during these times.
  • On Dart 4 and 5 on Saturday: 8am to 6pm

You may be asked to be flexible so passengers are grouped together.

Can a relative or friend book on my behalf?


Can people use the service to go out for social/leisure activities?

Yes. Experience has shown passengers often choose to book the service as a group and passengers who previously could not use a conventional service can use the DaRT. As long as it is safe to do so the service can pick up passengers from their homes.

Can a group of people book together?

Yes, you will need to say how many people will be traveling.

Where can I find more information?

You can find more information on the operators website