Essex County Council (ECC) is pleased to announce that, subject to clearance of a cabinet member decision and completion of a mandatory standstill period, a new four year contract, operating from 26 August 2012, has been awarded to continue running bus services on behalf of the County Council on the Dengie Peninsula.
Stephensons of Essex will continue to operate services D1, D2, D4 and D6 broadly to the current timetables and with some enhancements to the D4 on a Saturday.
The little used D5 service will be replaced by a new Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service run by Arrow Taxi and Freight Services. This will operate from 6am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday, serving the parishes of Stow Maries, Althorne and North Fambridge.
Passengers will need to book their journeys at least one hour before they wish to travel. Fares will be priced between the cost of a bus and taxi fare and concessionary pass holders will be entitled to travel free at the same times as they would on a bus.
This new type of service will introduce:
- New connections for commuters in Stow Maries
- Easier access for local residents to stations in Althorne and North Fambridge
- New journey possibilities into South Woodham Ferrers and maintenance of existing links to South Woodham Ferrers for ASDA and other local services
- Regular services between upper and lower parts of Althorne, including Riverview Park.
Since May 2011 ECC has worked closely with local representatives to establish the needs and priorities of people on the Dengie Peninsula, developing timetable options that were put out to tender.
The majority of parishes in the area support the continuation of these important services. They will also provide commuters with greater flexibility as the bus timetables, together with the new DRT service, will better meet the times of trains.
County Councillor Derrick Louis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation said: “We’ve worked very closely with representatives from across the Dengie Peninsula and listened to their requirements and I’d like to thank them for their involvement.
As a result of their invaluable input, I’m pleased that we’ve been able to continue or improve the level of service they currently receive. Through the procurement process, we’ve also been able to make a 25% saving, which we hope will ensure that the services remain sustainable in the future.
Full details of the new timetables and how to use the new DRT service will be issued in partnership with the operators closer to the start date. Further information can also be obtained from Essex County Council on 0845 603 7631.