Park and Ride buses to Broomfield Hospital are set to become more frequent as part of a new agreement.
The Broomfield Hospital service has offered a shuttle bus from Chelmer Valley Park and Ride site to the hospital and back since it launched last November.
Today (Monday, 24 October) Essex County Council and Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust announced a new timetable offering buses every 23 minutes throughout the day.
The new service will begin from 5 December 2016 and will be operated by Essex County Council’s own in-house minibus fleet “Community Link”. The new buses will be fully accessible with specifically trained staff and specialist equipment for any users who may require assistance boarding and alighting the vehicle safely.
It will continue to run as part of the ordinary £3.00 Chelmsford Park and Ride ticket with discounted fares for under 16s. Concessionary pass holders qualify for free travel after 9am.
Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “Residents who have appointments or are visiting loved ones in hospitals do not need the added stress of searching for a car parking space.
“The Park and Ride offers a reliable and stress-free alternative at regular intervals throughout the day. I am confident the addition of Community Link’s resources and experience in helping those with mobility issues will only add to the already high level of service provided.
“We are delighted to be working with Mid Essex Hospitals Trust to improve parking and transportation for patients, staff and visitors at Broomfield Hospital.
“It is vital that residents take advantage of this bus service to ensure its continued frequent running and future success.”
Journeys will begin from 6.37am and will run every 23 minutes until approximately 6.30pm in the evening. The journey time is approximately 10 minutes each way.
Carin Charlton, Executive Director of Strategy and Corporate Services at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust said: "The Park and Ride pilot project has proved to be a great success, and we are all pleased with this move to increase the frequency of bus visits to our hospital to encourage more staff and visitors to use the service.
“As part of our sustainable travel plan, working closely with the County Council and our local community, we are looking to offer more alternatives for staff and visitors travelling to Broomfield hospital. We are very aware of how we care for the environment around our hospital, and initiatives that improve sustainability are welcomed.
“The Trust has a number of incentives in place for staff looking at bus travel to and from the site, and we are currently asking their views through our annual travel survey.”