Monday, 22 December 2014

First fares to rise in January

First are putting some of their fares up from 5th January. Details here.

For us in Brentwood, it means that a FirstDay Brentwood goes up to £3.60.

FirstWeek Brentwood will be £15.

First4Week Brentwood will be £50.

A day return to Billericay on the 9 goes up to £4.40.

There's no change to FirstDay Essex, which remains at £8 - the same price as an Essex Saver which can also be used on other bus companies.

FirstDay Basildon Outer, which includes Brentwood, goes up to £6.40.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Cuts to early evening buses to Ongar

Townlink have brought in a very poorly publicised new timetable on the 21, with the last two journeys to and from Brentwood on weekdays axed. The Gazette mentioned it last month.

The last 21 towards Brentwood on weekdays now departs Harlow at 1600, Epping Station at 1629 and Ongar Four Wantz at 1650. The last weekday 21 towards Ongar and Harlow leaves Warley at 1730 and Brentwood High Street at 1742.

The Saturday timetable looks like it is unchanged.

See the full new timetable here.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Vintage buses to Upminster

Brentwood is to regain a direct bus route to Upminster... for one day only.

Ensign Bus are running some special Christmas shoppers' routes with vintage buses on Saturday 6th December. One of them is a half-hourly service on the X81 between Shenfield, Brentwood and Lakeside. The other is route X86 between Brentwood and Upminster.

See the full timetable for these one-day-only special routes here.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Gazette slams poor service from First

The Brentwood Gazette has published this article highlighting several problems with the services provided by First in our town. Route 9 is singled out as being particularly unreliable.

How do you find service levels on the routes you use regularly? Leave a comment and let us know.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Formal warning for First over punctuality

First Essex has been issued with a formal warning by the Deputy Traffic Commissioner for the East of England, Marcia Davis, for running too many services behind schedule or not at all.

The Harlow Star tells how bosses were summonsed to explain themselves after passengers complained to the Traffic Commissioner about buses not running to time. A bus is officially classed as not running to time if it:

  • is more than one minute early
  • is more than five minutes late
  • doesn't run at all

First have pledged to improve services in Essex. The Traffic Commissioner's full written report will be out in a few days time.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tour de France stops route 21 on 7th July

The Tour de France comes to Essex on 7th July. While it won't run through Brentwood, it will run through Epping, meaning that Townlink 21 will not be able to run on that day.

All of Brentwood's other buses will be running as normal, but there could be some disruption due to traffic caused by road closures elsewhere in the county.

Check the Twitter feeds on the right for updates on the day. More details about the Tour de France in Essex can be found here.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

No cash payments on the 498 from 6th July

If you use the 498 to Romford, then please note that from 6th July, you will no longer be able to pay your bus fares using cash. This applies to all bus routes operated on behalf of Transport for London. Full details here.

Passengers needing to use the 498 and other London buses after 6th July will need to either pay using a contactless bank card or get an Oyster card. Here in Brentwood, Oyster cards can be obtained from the Nisa Metro shop at 96A High Street:

...or from Newstime at 145 Kings Road:

You can't get a new Oyster card at Brentwood railway station, but you can top up an existing Oyster card there.

In Brentwood this only affects the 498 bus. All other buses serving our town will continue to accept cash as usual.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Vintage buses from Shenfield to Ongar and Epping

The heritage Epping and Ongar Railway is running a vintage bus service from Shenfield Station to its main stations at Ongar and Epping every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday over the summer until early October.

Travel is free for visitors to the heritage railway, but anyone can use the bus for a single fare of £2 to Ongar or £3 to Epping.

A more frequent link to Ongar runs from Brentwood in the form of Townlink 21. It doesn't however run on Sundays, so the vintage bus is definitely filling a gap in provision there.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

FirstWeek Essex price cut for Catch The Bus Week

First have a special offer to celebrate Catch The Bus Week, which occurs from Monday 28th April until Sunday 4th May.

During that period, you will be able to buy a FirstWeek Essex valid on all First buses throughout the county for just £24 instead of the usual price of £30.

This will make it temporarily even cheaper than the FirstWeek Basildon Outer, valid in Brentwood, which is £25.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Travel with Hunny closes: Upminster cut off

Travel with Hunny, who run the 848 to Upminster and a few school buses, have ceased trading as of Friday 31st January. This is what their website currently shows:

This means anyone who uses the 848 to get to Upminster (and our nearest Aldi!) will have to find another way to get there. Your quickest alternative is to get the train from Brentwood to Romford and then change there for Upminster - an adult off-peak day return is £6.50 as a paper ticket, but you're better off using Oyster, which will cost you £2.30 each way off peak and £3.00 peak.

If you still want to use the bus to get to Upminster, then you'll need to take the 498 to either Gubbins Lane and then change to the 347; or to Romford and then change to the 248 or 370. All of these buses are run for TfL, so using Oyster, it's £1.45 per journey with a daily bus fare cap of £4.40.

Lakeside is about to get more difficult to visit too. From Monday 17th March, Amber 265 will no longer serve Brentwood. It will continue to operate between West Horndon and Lakeside only. Our only direct bus to Lakeside after that is Ensign X81. The other alternatives are to take First 9 to either Billericay or Basildon and then change to First 100; or take TfL 498 to Romford and then change to the 370.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

First 351 times change from Monday

Don't forget that First 351 to Chelmsford gets a new timetable on Monday. Most journeys are retimed. See the new timetable here.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Ensign 82 withdrawn / 21 to Ongar name change

Ensign 82 ran for the last time today. As of Monday, its journeys are replaced by new journeys on the 81, which runs the other way around the Hutton loop.

See the 81's full timetable here.

SM Coaches have deregistered route 21, but don't worry it's not being axed. It's now being run by a company called Townlink, to exactly the same timetable. Shame Townlink don't have a website.