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
  • 2018 Consultations on individual service changes (including services that are being consulted on for potential withdrawal or service reduction).
  • Services to be withdrawn following a tender process w.e.f 27 August 2017

Ongoing consultations


No current consultations


Recent closed consultations

Consultation - Service 10 Wickford – Basildon and Services 13,13a and 14 Chelmsford -Wickford

Operated by: First Essex Buses

Closed: 08 May 2018

Commercial First Essex Bus 15 service was withdrawn, this left Church End Lane and parts of Alderney Gardens Wickford without a service. It is proposed that service 10 will operate around Church End Lane instead of Guernsey Gardens. It is also proposed for services 13/13a/14 to operate in both directions along Alderney Gardens instead of Swan Lane. Wantz Corner will no longer be served.

OUTCOME: Currently being assessed.

Consultation - Service 59/60 Audley End Station - Haverhill

Operated by: Stephenson’s of Essex

Closed 25 April 2018

Essex County Council has received a request to amend the journey times Mon - Fri to coincide with train arrivals from London. The County Council propose that the 11:27, 12:27, 13:27,14:27 and 15:33 bus departures from Audley End are adjusted to 11:35, 12:35, 13:35, 14:35 and 15.41

 OUTCOME:  Following consideration of the consultation, the decision has been made not to make changes to the service at this stage.


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

Operated by: Stephenson’s of Essex

Closed 28 March 2018

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)

OUTCOME: The ECC funded section of the route (Old Harlow - Little Hallingbury) will be withdrawn from 31 July 2018


Consultation - Service 61 Mon - Sat (Blackmore – Brentwood)

Operated by: Swallows Coaches

Closed 13 March 2018

Proposal to divert service 61 to cover route lost by changes to First Essex Buses service 37.

OUTCOME: Consultation not proceeded with as service 37 route to be reinstated from 8 May 2018.

Consultation - Service 41 Evening Services (Chelmsford – Galleywood)

Operated by: First Essex Buses

Closed 28 February 2018

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 (renumbered service 57) . It is proposed that 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.

OUTCOME: Following consideration of the consultation, the decision has been made not to makes changes to the service.

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 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:  Following consideration of the consultation, the decision has been made not to make changes to the service at this stage.


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