Saturday, 21 December 2013

First fares up on 5th Jan

First Essex are putting their fares up on 5th January. Full details here. Here are the main changes to tickets covering Brentwood:

  • Some single & return fares will rise
  • FirstDay Brentwood will be cut to £3.50
  • FirstDay Basildon Outer will increase to £6.20
  • FirstWeek Basildon Outer increases to £25
  • FirstMonth Basildon Outer increases to £88
  • FirstDay Essex remains unchanged, as do the Essex-wide weekly and monthly tickets.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

New timetable for 351 from 3rd Feb

First 351 to Chelmsford is having its timetable changed from 3rd February 2014. Here are the details from their website:

We'll link to the new timetable as soon as it is available.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas & New Year buses in Brentwood

Of all the bus companies serving Brentwood, only First and TfL has advised what their service levels will be over the festive season. Here's what First will be doing:

Monday 23rd December: Normal weekday service
Christmas Eve 24th December: Normal weekday service
Christmas Day 25th December: No service.
Boxing Day 26th December: No service.
Friday 27th December: Saturday service.
Saturday 28th December: Normal Saturday service.
Sunday 29th December: Normal Sunday service.
Monday 30th December: Saturday service.
New Year's Eve 31st December: Saturday service.
New Year's Day 1st January: No service.
Thursday 2nd January: Normal weekday service.

TfL will have the following service levels on their London Bus Network, which includes the 498 from Brentwood:

Monday 23rd December: Normal weekday service
Christmas Eve 24th December: Saturday service.
Christmas Day 25th December: No service.
Boxing Day 26th December: Sunday service.
Friday 27th December: Saturday service.
Saturday 28th December: Normal Saturday service.
Sunday 29th December: Normal Sunday service.
Monday 30th December: Sunday service.
New Year's Eve 31st December: Saturday service.
New Year's Day 1st January: Sunday service.
Thursday 2nd January: Normal weekday service.

To find out what the other local bus companies will be doing, please contact them directly.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Tell the council not to cut your bus!

Essex County Council are having what they call a 'bus review'. That's a posh way of saying they're looking at which subsidised bus services they can cut in order to save some money to pay for the bankers' mistakes.

This could affect many routes serving Brentwood, especially the few evening and Sunday services we have. If you want to keep them, then go to this website to take part in the 'review' and tell Essex County Council how important bus services are to our town.

You have until 9th December to respond, after which they will presumably stop listening and start deciding where to wield that axe.

The following Brentwood bus services are subsidised by Essex County Council and could be at risk if not enough people defend them in this consultation:

  • 73 (evening & Sunday journeys to Warley and Pilgrims Hatch)
  • 80A & 80C (Sunday service to Hutton & Shenfield)
  • 251 (Sunday service to Warley, Billericay and Southend)
  • 261 Doddinghurst
  • 268 & 269 Grays
  • 351 (Sunday journeys to Chelmsford)
  • 565 Ingrave, Herongate

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Direct buses to Upminster

UPDATE: The 848 service no longer runs. See this more recent post for more details. The below post is now out of date, but has been left online as a record of what ran for a short time.

Travel With Hunny have quietly launched route 848 linking Brentwood with Upminster. It serves stop E on Brentwood High Street and also stops outside the railway station before running through Warley. It terminates at Upminster Station, returning from stop B, just outside Wimpy:

See the route map here and as a pdf here.

Here's the timetable:

...and a list of stops served in each direction:

Please note the 848 only runs on weekdays and is not a TfL route, even though it goes into Greater London, so Oyster is not valid.

Monday, 2 September 2013

New timetable on First 9 from today

There are some minor changes to the timetable on First 9 from today. It mainly affects early morning and early evening journeys, with more buses running to and from Warley at those times.

See the new timetable on Traveline or First's website.

Use the following links for live scheduled departures towards Basildon from...
Warley, Eagle Way
Brentwood Railway Station
Brentwood High Street, stop B
Billericay Railway Station, stop B

...and back towards Warley from...
Basildon Bus Station, stop F
Billericay Railway Station, stop A
Norman Crescent
Brentwood High Street, stop E
Brentwood Railway Station

Monday, 15 July 2013

261 transfers to Amber this Friday

Route 261 to Doddinghurst and Blackmore transfers from Regal Busways to Amber Coaches this coming Friday 19th July. It also gets a much better timetable, back up to hourly Mon-Sat daytimes. See the full timetable here:

Amber are expanding on other routes too. From 17th August, they take over the 265 to Lakeside from First. From 1st September, they'll be taking the 269 to Grays from Travel With Hunny.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Connections: First 9

Here's a quick guide to our area's newest bus route and what you can use it to connect to.

First 9 runs from Warley (Eagle Way) via Brentwood and Billericay to Basildon. You can find the full timetable here.

Eagle Way bus stop on The Drive in Warley.

Here's the 9's route in Brentwood:

Discover all there is to do in Brentwood on Essex County Council's tourism website.

At Brentwood railway station (live train departures), it connects with the frequent Greater Anglia train service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield (timetable here).

Opposite Brentwood Railway Station on Warley Road.

At Brentwood High Street, First 9 (calling at stop C) connects with several useful bus routes including TfL 498 to Romford (stop E), SM 21 to Ongar (stop B), and First 351 to Chelmsford (stop A).

Brentwood High Street stops A, B and C from right to left.

Onwards to Billericay (live train departures), from where you can catch trains (timetables) on these lines:

There are some useful bus routes from Billericay Station too. First 100 to Chelmsford leaves from stand A (as does the 9 back to Brentwood) and NIBS 222 to Wickford leaves from stand D.

The bus stops just outside Billericay Station.

Discover things to see and do in Billericay here.

After Billericay, First 9 makes its way to Basildon:

See what there is to do in Basildon here.

Basildon Railway Station (live departures) has direct trains on this route (timetable):

Basildon Bus Station has connections to many destinations, including:
Arriva 5 to Southend from stop P
First 22 to Canvey from stop Q
First 25 to Southend from stop N
First 28 to Southend from stop Q
First 100 to Lakeside from stop D
First 200 to Grays from stop E

First 9 back to Brentwood departs from stop F.

Basildon Bus Station.

If you're only going to be travelling on First buses, then use one of their own tickets. The Basildon Outer zone (for which an adult FirstDay is £6) covers the whole of route 9 and also extends to Lakeside and Southend.

If you need to use other companies' buses too, then use an £8 Essex Saver. It's valid on all buses in Essex regardless of operator (excluding Ensign X81 and journeys wholly within either Thurrock or Southend).

Plusbus tickets are valid on sections of route 9 when bought with rail tickets to/from Brentwood/Shenfield, Billericay or Basildon. Click the links to see the Plusbus zone maps.

You can explore an interactive map of all bus services in Essex here.

Click here to explore other Great British Bus Routes across Greater London and the East

Monday, 20 May 2013

Plusbus price cut for June & July

Buy a Plusbus ticket online (from participating websites only, including Greater Anglia's) for travel during June or July and it will cost just £2.

The Brentwood and Shenfield Plusbus zone is included, as are the zones of most towns and cities around the country.

Plusbus is a bus add-on ticket that you buy with rail tickets to certain stations.

Full details here.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Days out on the 21

There are several major attractions along the route of Ensign 21, not just in Brentwood. If you fancy a day out, why not consider one of these?:

Secret Nuclear Bunker. Take the 21 to Kelvedon Hatch, The Priors.

Epping Ongar Railway. Take the 21 to Ongar Station.

Find out all there is to do in Ongar here and here.

The 21 now only goes as far as Ongar. Change there to other buses to see the following:

North Weald Airfield Museum.

There are also things to discover in Epping (more here) and Harlow (more here), so what are you waiting for?

The 21 runs from opposite Brentwood Railway Station and at stops K and B on Brentwood High Street.

Opposite Brentwood Railway Station on Warley Road.

Brentwood High Street, stops A, B and C from right to left.

Two Brewers on High Street, Ongar. Buses to Brentwood on the right.

The timetable and a route map for the 21 can be found at Traveline.

If you need to use another bus to connect with the 21, then you could save money by asking for an Essex Saver ticket, which allows you to use almost all buses in Essex for a whole day for just £8.

Do bear in mind though that the 21 does not run on Saturdays, Sundays or bank holidays.

Click here to discover more Great British Bus Routes across the South East.

Monday, 29 April 2013

81, 82, 265, 498 new timetables live / First changes this weekend

Ensign Bus have finally got the details of the new timetable on the 81 and new route 82, which started today, on their website.

Just a quick reminder that First 265 to Lakeside and TfL 498 to Romford started new timetables this Saturday just gone. The 265 now goes via Grays and the 498 now extends all the way to Queens Hospital. Timetable links are in the post below.

The big changes to most First routes happen this coming Sunday. Full details in the post below. To make it easier to understand how Brentwood's buses will look after the change, here is a doctored version of Essex County Council's town map showing only those routes that will run at least hourly Mon-Sat daytimes from Tuesday 7th May:

And here is the same map showing only those routes that now run on Sundays:

BCT 228 has been left off because it won't run after the end of May.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The wonders of Warley

With changes to many First routes coming up on 5th May, many Warley residents had been worried about the planned withdrawal of routes 73A and 73B. From that date, First will be running just the 9 along the current 73 route, with only Mon-Sat evening services still being numbered 73:

The cut to the 73A will affect the following stops apart from Albert Street, which will be served by First 9 (the daytime replacement for the 73) and SM Coaches 21:

The rest of this part of the route is currently served on weekdays only by the 73A and on Saturdays by Stephensons 71 and 72. These are the current times from Uplands Road:

Brentwood Liberal Democrats today announced that the 71 and 72 will be diverted on weekdays to serve the areas that would have been stranded by the cutting of the 73A and 73B. Stephensons have already released the new timetables for the 71 and 72, which take effect from 7th May.

Talking of the 73B, here are the stops affected on the other side of Warley Hill:

and the current level of service from Warley Hill towards Brentwood:

The main First route through Warley, along Warley Hill and The Drive remains unchanged, apart from a Mon-Sat daytime route number switch from 73 to 9 and of course the accompanying timetable changes. SM Coaches 21 uses the same route and remains unchanged.

The Warley extensions to First 351 will be cut to just one bus each evening Mon-Sats.

All of the above changes are from Sunday 5th May.

The First 251 Sunday service (on which you can travel to Southend for just £2.80 return - ask for a Sunday Saver ticket!) is unchanged, but Sunday riders should take note that Brentwood Community Transport 228 will no longer run after 26th May.

Monday, 15 April 2013

First changes: New timetables out

First have released the new timetables for those of their services that are changing from Sunday 5th May. Full details of all changes to their services across South Essex can be found here. Here's a summary of what affects Brentwood:

73/73A/73B Warley-Brentwood-Pilgrims Hatch: The daytime service is curtailed to run between Brentwood Railway Station and Pilgrims Hatch only. The 73A and 73B are withdrawn. Evening services will still serve Warley. Sunday services are introduced. New timetable here.

351 Brentwood-Chelmsford: The daytime frequency is doubled to every half hour. New timetable here.

551 Brentwood-Basildon: Renumbered 9 with some timetable changes. Extended beyond Brentwood Railway Station to Warley, representing a cut in service on that part of route compared to the current 73 service. Short rush hour journeys to Shenfield are rerouted and renumbered 9A. New timetable here.

From Saturday 27th April, there are changes to the 265 to Lakeside and TfL 498 to Romford, which is extended to Queens Hospital and will run every 20 minutes Mon-Sat daytimes. Timetables here.

Apart from the changes on First, many changes are coming up on other bus companies in our area. A quick list is in the right hand column.

Shame on Ensign Bus, who are changing the 81 and introducing the 82 before First's changes, but haven't yet published the official new timetable on their website. Luckily Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association have got hold of the new timetables: 81, 82.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Several routes to change at end of April

A few changes to Brentwood's bus services have been announced.

Ensign 81 to Hutton splits into 2 routes from 29th April. The 81 will run to a reduced frequency with the gaps being filled by new route 82, which will run round the Hutton loop in the opposite direction to the 81. Timetables courtesy of Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association here and here.

First are changing a few things around too, from 5th May. Here's a summary:
73/73A/73B Warley-Brentwood-Pilgrims Hatch: New timetable
351 Brentwood-Chelmsford: New timetable
551 Brentwood-Billericay-Basildon: Withdrawn and replaced by new route 9, which will be extended beyond Brentwood Station to Warley.
We'll post all of the new timetables on here as soon as they are published.

We were expecting a change to SM Coaches 21 at the start of this week, but it seems to have amounted to nothing. A look on Traveline shows the same timetable as before. We will of course let you know if they do plan any changes to that or any of Brentwood's other bus routes.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hunny 269, SM 21 timetable changes on the way

From 25th February, Travel With Hunny 269 has a timetable change to the following college days early morning journey from Grays:

Here's how it now runs:

It used to leave Grays Bus Station at 0724, but now leaves at 0710 and runs earlier throughout.  No other journeys on the 269 are affected.

Another upcoming change: SM Coaches 21 gets a new timetable from 11th March, but we don't yet have any indication of what is changing. We'll let you know as soon as the details are out.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

First the worst? Brentwood passengers stranded on Sunday

Sunday evening, 1851, Brentwood Station. The train has just arrived from London and a Brentwood senior citizen is waiting for her connecting bus home. It's parked up by the station. She waits for it to move, turn round and pick up passengers. And she waits. And then she waits some more.

It doesn't move, so she crosses the road and asks the driver if this bus is the 80C, to which the driver replies "yes, but it's broken down". Apparently the back lights didn't work. She checked and they weren't working alright:

First's solution: do nothing. Leave passengers, including this pensioner who relies on the bus, stranded. Our friend ended up having to fork out £8 to get the taxi home, just ten minutes away.

But this isn't the end of the story. Routes 80A and 80C on Sundays are subsidised by Essex County Council. So First is being handed taxpayers' money to run these services. The 1851 80C from Brentwood Station on Sunday did not run. With the nearest bus depot being in either Basildon or Chelmsford, we're quite certain the 1951 80A didn't run either. So will First be handing the subsidy money for that journey back to the council? We sincerely hope so.

If they didn't, then we hope Essex County Council will be looking for alternative providers of their subsidised bus services.

Was Sunday night's 80A/80C debacle an isolated incident or have you been the victim of a non-running First bus in Brentwood? Please leave a comment and let us know, especially if it's a subsidised service for which First have their hand firmly in the taxpayers' pockets.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

First fares go up on Sunday

First are putting most of their fares up on Sunday 3rd February.

The FirstDay Brentwood goes up from £3.50 to £3.60. FirstWeek Brentwood rises from £13.50 to £14.

FirstDay Basildon Outer stays at £6. FirstWeek Basildon Outer drops from £26 to £24.

FirstDay Essex stays at £8 but for that same price you might as well get the Essex Saver, which is valid on all operators' buses throughout the county. FirstWeek Essex stays at £30.

The FirstMonth tickets valid in this part of the world stay the same.

Some single and return fares are changing too. Here's a sample of adult fares to/from Brentwood from Sunday:
Billericay £4 return (cheaper than the train)
Ingatestone £4.50 return (£4.30 return on the train when travelling after 1200 weekdays or anytime at weekends)
Chelmsford £6.30 return (cheaper than the train)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Brentwood's major bus routes on one clear map

Essex County Council are one of the best in the country for their public transport maps. But they are so comprehensive, listing every single route that runs, even if it only offers one journey a week. Sometimes it's easy for the vital information on the major routes to get lost in the detail. None of the bus operators offer a simplified map of their Brentwood services, so we thought we'd step in.

Here is a vastly simplified map of bus services in Brentwood, only showing those routes that have at least an hourly service Monday to Saturday daytimes:

And here's the Sunday bus network:

We hope you'll find these maps useful. Please feel free to share them.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Oyster's here, but not always cheaper

Oyster has arrived in Brentwood, if you ignore the fact that it arrived on the 498 bus ages ago! It's now here on the trains too. The fares aren't quite as simple as they could be, so we've prepared this table to make it clear how much a journey into Greater London will cost using paper tickets or Oyster:

The surprising fact is that some day Travelcards are cheaper with paper tickets than on Oyster. Oyster's only the best deal if you'll be travelling into London on a train that arrives at Liverpool Street between 1000 and 1200. For single journeys into and out of Greater London, Oyster always works out cheaper.

Watch out for the £16.20 off-peak pay-as-you-go daily Oyster fare cap when travelling from Brentwood though - it's quite high and can only be avoided by either using a paper ticket to travel from Brentwood into Greater London and then switching to Oyster or by using two separate Oyster cards, one to get over the border and one to get around London.

Here's how the paper v Oyster fares look from Shenfield:

It's not yet clear what situation is regarding the Brentwood & Shenfield Plusbus, but my guess is that it is not available in conjunction with Oyster.

Do leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Friday, 11 January 2013

New route: NIBS 489 to Moreton

Since Monday 7th January, there's a new bus route in Brentwood. NIBS 489 runs in from Moreton every weekday morning and heads back every weekday afternoon. Here is the route map:


and list of stops served:

The SMS codes can be used on Nextbuses or by texting 84268 (normal text message costs apply) to see a list of the next buses scheduled from that stop.

As the 489 is mainly a schools service, I won't be adding it to the directory of major bus routes at the bottom of this page, but if there are any changes to the 489, then we'll let you know right here.

Also below, right at the bottom of the page, you'll find a useful list of available day tickets for Brentwood's buses. We've made it clear which ticket can be bought and is valid on which bus. The biggest surprise is the Sunday Saver, which at £2.80 for travel on all buses in Essex every Sunday is surely one of the best value bus tickets in the country!