Getting Around in Essex Strategy

Essex Bus Strategy

Bus Back Better

On 31 March 2022, Essex County Council made the Enhanced Partnership with bus operators, which can be viewed below.  This includes a set of commitments for both ECC and bus operators which will start to deliver the Essex Bus Service Improvement Plan 2021 to 2026.

Essex County Council has started the process of responding to the new national bus strategy: Bus Back Better.

As a first step, it has made a decision to pursue an Enhanced Partnership with bus operators in Essex. You can see the formal notification for this below.  More background to that decision is included in the Cabinet Paper which was discussed at ECC’s Cabinet meeting on 22 June 2021. The Cabinet paper is available to download.

Essex County Council have published their Bus Service Improvement Plan 2021 to 2026 which can be accessed below.  The Plan describes the current bus network and the action that Essex County Council will take in partnership with bus operators and others to improve services.

Getting Around in Essex Bus Strategy

The Authority prioritises local bus services according to the Getting Around in Essex Strategy. You can find out the information below, including the Local Bus Services Priority Policy 2015-2020, the Bus Strategy, and the Strategy Summary.

If you have any questions or are unsure about how the policy might affect your local bus service, you should first check our Supported Bus Services page to ensure that your bus service is operated under contract to Essex County Council. You can also find full information about how we prioritise services in the Priority Policy below. If you are still unclear, you can contact us by emailing


BSIP 6 Month Report April 2023 - PDF(307.0KB)

Essex BSIP Annual Review - PDF(0.6MB)

Area Reviews - ZIP(106.8MB)

BSIP 6 Month Report 2022 - PDF(283.9KB)

Enhanced Plan and Scheme - PDF(1.3MB)

Annex A to Enhanced Plan and Scheme - PDF(93.9KB)

Essex County Council Bus Service Improvement Plan 2021 - 2026 - PDF(5.4MB)

Notice of Intent - PDF(241.2KB)

Bus Strategy Summary (12 pages) - PDF(0.6MB)

Bus Strategy (40 pages) - PDF(2.7MB)

Local Bus Service Priority Policy 2015 to 2020 - PDF(149.6KB)

Local Bus Services Assessment and Priority Policy 2015 to 2020 Appendix 1 - PDF(152.9KB)

Local Bus Services Assessment and Priority Policy 2015 to 2020 Appendix 2 - PDF(165.8KB)

Local Bus Services Assessment and Priority Policy 2015 to 2020 Appendix 3 - XLSX(467.2KB)

Enhanced Partnership in Essex

Essex County Council and Transport Providers are working together in what is known as an Enhanced Partnership, and you can read about some of the things we want to deliver as part of that in our Bus Service Improvement Plan (2021-2026) above.

The Essex-wide Bus Shelter project

Essex County Council’s long-term vision is to create a better bus shelter estate, including all maintenance, cleaning, replacement, and supply of shelters – all paid for from the generation of income by the new supplier, through advertising.  Read more here.

The Rural Mobility Fund

Essex County Council received Central Government funding for two digitally based flexible transport schemes using fully electric minibusses:

  1. South Braintree Digital Demand Responsive Transport (D-DRT) 

  2. Central Essex Square D-DRT

More information, including application documents, can be found here

Colchester Rapid Transit

The aim of the Colchester Rapid Transit scheme is a 35% journey time saving when travelling between Colchester’s Park and Ride and the City Centre and 20% between the University and the City Centre.

Once operational in 2025/26 users can expect to see services unlike anything else in the city, with distinct vehicles, unique branding and modern ticketing and stops using the latest technologies. New priority transport route, providing services between Park and Ride, City Centre, University and garden community to be created.

More information can be read here.

Image of the Travel Essex Journey Planner App

Journey planning made simple

Search for public transport travel options throughout Essex, including walking, cycling, train, bus and DigiGo.