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Supported 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. 

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.

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.

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
  • Details of recent Consultations on service changes (including services that are being consulted on for potential withdrawal or service reduction).
  • Information regarding Funding for Supported Services 2020/21. You can see Essex County Council’s letter of Intent regarding the funding in the documents section of the page, this sets out our original statement of intent, however, this may be updated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we will publish updates if this is the case. You can also see the Department for Transport response. 

Ongoing consultations

Consultation on Service 71C  – Pilgrims Hatch to Brentwood operated by Stephenson's 

Service 71C operates peak time journeys only Monday to Fridays with financial support from developer funding, the funding from the S106 agreement will cease to support this service from 26th March 2021 and passenger usage has been insufficient for the service to continue commercially. ECC is therefore considering withdrawing this service with effect from March 26th 2021

ECC is running a public consultation regarding this proposal for 3 weeks between 25th January 2021 and 14th February 2021.

You may access the consultation on line:

If you have any queries please email:  by 14 February 21


Consultation on Service 13A  – Wickford to Chelmsford operated by First Essex Buses

We have been informed of difficulties with this service using Short Lane and Park Lane in Ramsden Heath. Following Customer and Operator feedback we intend for the bus to enter Ramsden Heath via Hawkswood Rd and Dowsetts Lane instead of entering the village via Sudbury Rd. The nearest stop for residents of Short Lane and Park Lane will be Dovedale Close on Downham Rd. 

This change is planned from Monday 01 March 2021. If you have any comments or concerns please contact by 01 February 2021.

Recent closed consultations

Consultation on Service 63 – West Mersea to Colchester operated by Hedingham Omnibuses Ltd

Closed: 13 December 2019

Service 63 operates Monday to Saturday with financial support from Essex County Council (ECC). Due to low passenger usage between West Mersea and Berechurch, it is proposed that some journeys start and finish at Berechurch, William Harris Way.

 OUTCOME: The changes to the timetable were implemented on 26 July 2020.


Consultation on service 313/313A Great Dunmow - Saffron Walden operated by Stephenson's

Closed: 04 November 2019

This contract is due to expire on 25 July 2020. The service is failing ECC cost per passenger journey support, therefore ECC is considering withdrawing this service with effect from 25 July 2020.


Essex County Council at present will not be making changes to 313/313A 

Consultation on ECC supported journeys only Witham Town Service 39, Monday - Saturday operated by Stephenson's

Closed: 04 November 2019

Although service 39 is operated by Stephenson's on a commercial basis, ECC provides financial support for some journeys. These journeys are failing ECC cost per passenger journey support, therefore ECC is considering withdrawing these journeys with effect from 25 July 2020.

OUTCOME: The consultation has been assessed and the decision made to withdraw the journeys under consultation, the last day of operation was 25 July 2020

Consultation on route change on Bus 4/4A Jaywick Circular operated by Hedingham Omnibuses

Closed: 18 October 2019

The evening journeys which are funded by ECC currently operate via Gorse Lane in Clacton and Broadway in Jaywick. It is proposed to operate these journeys as the same commercial daytime journeys, via Stephenson Road West in Clacton and Via Meadow Way (for journeys towards Tower Camp) in Jaywick.

OUTCOME: The consultation is being assessed.  

Park & Ride Concessionary Bus Pass Consultation May 2019

Closed: 31 July 2019

Consultation on changes to the use of Concessionary Bus Passes on Essex County Council run Park and Ride services only from April 2020.


At present all bus pass holders pay the full park and ride fare until 09:00 (except at weekends and public holidays when they travel free at all time).  Between 09:00 and 24:00 they travel for free. 

From 01 April 2020 older people’s pass holders will have to pay a reduced rate of £1.50 at all times.  There is an introductory offer of 2 adult pass holders can travel for £2 for the first six months.

Disability pass holders will still be able to travel free between 09:00 and 24:00 on weekdays and at all times at weekends and public holidays.

In addition they will be able to pay a reduced fare of £1.50  to travel before 09:00 on weekdays. 

This decision relates to both Chelmsford Park and Rides (Sandon & Chelmer Valley), Colchester Park and Ride and the Broomfield Hospital Shuttle Service.

Chelmsford Park & Ride Consultation January 2019

Closed: 22 March 2019

Essex County Council is reviewing the ticketing options and fares offered and days of opening for the Chelmsford Park and Ride Services.

OUTCOME: The consultation is being assessed. 

Consultation on proposals for a review of Essex County Council’s supported Evening and Sunday local bus services - Consultation December 2018

Closed: 22 March 2019

Essex County Council (ECC) is reviewing the way it supports local bus services which operate on evenings and Sundays and carried out a public consultation. The consultation also included proposals regarding delivering ECC services differently and devolving ECC funded local bus services to communities.

OUTCOME: The consultation has been assessed

Please also see:

Supported Bus Services List