Harlow residents encouraged to have their say on future of subsidised bus services

Communities / Sun 16th Jul 2023 at 08:05am

RESIDENTS are being urged to share their views on the future of 162 local bus services across Essex.

Essex County Council has launched a public consultation looking into the future of the county’s bus network.

A small percentage of bus services in Essex are subsidised by the council because commercial bus operators will not operate them. These non-commercial services mainly operate in rural areas, at less popular times for travel and are the subject of this consultation.

Across the network, the amount of people using buses in Essex has declined since the Covid-19 pandemic and the council needs to ensure future routes are financially viable and operate to meet the new demand.

The consultation will explore how to ensure the bus network is fit for the future and ready to meet new levels of passenger demand, while also making sure it provides value for money for taxpayers.

As part of the consultation, 162 services across three groups are being consulted on. These are:

  • the vast majority where no change is proposed until at least 2028
  • a group which will be supported until at least 2026, but where passenger numbers need to increase 
  • a low use group which are not currently meeting the needs of communities

Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, said: “Buses are integral to the lives of many of our residents and we need a network that gets them to work, school and training affordably and efficiently whilst supporting the county’s economy.

“Encouraging bus use is important as it helps reduce the number of cars in our town and city centres, reducing congestion, cutting emissions and improving the environment.

“Unfortunately, we know passenger numbers have been declining due to the impact of the pandemic. However, the more residents use them, the more investment there will be in services.

“This consultation will explore the future of 162 bus services in Essex as we look to develop a network which works for Essex and ensure that we are investing taxpayers’ money where it can have the best impact.”

The consultation is open until 5 October 2023. To take part, visit https://consultations.essex.gov.uk/iptu/2023.

Residents are encouraged to complete the survey online, however, if people wish to receive a hard copy, they can they contact [email protected] or telephone 0345 743 0430.

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14 Comments for Harlow residents encouraged to have their say on future of subsidised bus services:

Kim Oconnor
2023-07-16 09:27:20

Lower your prices then.... You will make cuts any way, despite what you say.... And as for lower admission s, 😂 tell me why we have London s, double decker buses here, there bursting out pollution left right and centre..... London don't want um, so we have them.

2023-07-16 09:43:52

Its a waste of time because the council dont really care about what anyone says,they will just do what suits them.

2023-07-16 09:54:28

About time. This is something that really needs to be extended in the Urban areas too by HDC. It's been a complete cock up that Harlow keeps building Bus lanes with public funds are used by so few private buses and mini cab drivers.. Scandalous

Dorothy Turner
2023-07-16 13:30:11

As bus service has been cut off from Tumbler Road, I have been housebound. Unable to get to town, doctors, hospital, until my son can take me. I'm 92!

2023-07-16 14:17:22

The company needs to teach some of the drivers people skills, often abrupt, rude and dangerous! Drive too fast and dangerous.

Andy kewin
2023-07-16 14:22:00

If we had a decent reliable bus service maybe I would leave the car at home more, back in the day of London country you could set your watch by them, the shower of shit we've got now couldn't run a bath let alone a business.

Anna Baker
2023-07-16 15:02:18

Bring back buzz buses

Samuel Asare
2023-07-16 20:12:43

Hmmmmm timing is not good at all in harlow weekend and honestly holiday season if you can do something about it please

2023-07-16 21:41:23

The bus driver in Harlow most of them rude, lazy and drive so faster, they don't care and because Harlow Council don't bother whatever community says, bus not run on time. It's alot been to be done but I don't think it will happen in Harlow!

Jane Armstrong
2023-07-17 06:09:42

I work for a small business in Harlow town and we work on appointments system but the no clients who calls us to say they have been waiting 1 hour/ 30 hour those who are able to walk starts to walk but not everyone is able to so unfortunately we do have to cancel their appointments at times and they have to wait several weeks for another appointment.

2023-07-17 07:39:06

A decent bus service would be nice. They are cut out all the time and no-one cares. And the last bus home from the town on a Sunday is 18.32! A 2 hour Sunday service is rubbish. Do the powers that be think no-one wants to go out on a Sunday? How about a link between Staple Tye and Potter Street?

Paul Coote
2023-07-17 18:14:47

A bus to the town centre from Potter Street on Saturday. Well that is a joke. 1 (yes 1) an hour. When the 420 arrives from Epping (usually late) it is full downstairs. No easy for some to get upstairs. I agree perhaps the 9 service frequency needed reducing but not from 3 an hour to nil. 1 an hour (30 min after the 420) would have been reasonable. So the government have capped the single fare to encourage people to use the buses but would can you do if there is none.

2023-07-17 21:30:33

I agree with every single one of these comments and i just wanna add that Andy Kewin,i cant stop laughing at your comment,well said and so true.🤣👍

2023-08-08 14:30:26

Agree with all these comments especially the Sunday service. What a poor, disgracefull service we have!!.

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