Bus users in north Essex are set to benefit from a new partnership allowing tickets from different companies to be used on buses along the number 88 route.
The Route 88 Partnership is a voluntary agreement between First, Hedingham and Essex County Council designed to bring about a range of benefits for customers.
Each operator will accept day returns, day returns, weekly, monthly and annual tickets from Hedingham Buses and First Essex buses on the 88 bus route between Great Yeldham and Colchester.
The new agreement officially launches on Sunday, 30 October but ticket inter-availability is already available to users.
The key advantages include:
- Ticket inter-availability – customers can buy a return ticket or pass from one operator and use it to return on another operator’s bus
- More flexibility in journeys thanks to better aligned schedules and routing
- Improved vehicle standards and accessibility
- Bus stop infrastructure improvements at key stops
Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “This is a great demonstration of bus companies working with the Council to help increase the quality of service provided to the public.
“I am sure users of this route will be delighted by this new deal which offers greater choice no matter who they buy their Route 88 bus ticket from.”
Gavin Hunter, Managing Director of Go-Ahead East Anglia (parent company of Hedingham), said: “We are pleased to be part of this Quality Bus Partnership agreement and hope it encourages more people to take the bus between Colchester and Halstead.”
Alex Jones, Managing Director of First Essex said: “This coordinated approach with ourselves, Essex County Council and bus operator Hedingham will provide customers with 'total flexibility' when purchasing and using tickets for their journey.
“We want residents to embrace this initiative and encourage family and friends to take advantage of the 88 service between Colchester and Halstead.”