Essex buses

County advice overview

Several bus companies operate throughout Essex, many with low-floor buses and wheelchair-accessible vehicles, such as First Bus Essex, Arriva and A2B Travel.

The Essex Highways website provides information on county bus services. 

If you live in Essex, and are eligible for an Older or Disabled Person’s Bus Pass, you can apply here.

Key tips 

If you have reduced mobility, or a disability, where possible plan your journey in advance so that you know: 

  • Which mobility aids you will be travelling with. You should contact the provider if you are unsure whether you can travel with your scooter/wheelchair.
  • If the destination stop is accessible, and any arrangements you need to make for onward travel

You may also wish to consider:

  • Where the nearest bus stop is
  • Which bus number you need
  • What method of payment is accepted
  • If the ticket can be bought online to save you time on the day. (First Bus have an app option for payment.)
  • Which destination stop you need. (The bus driver should be happy to help.)

Travel Essex can help you plan your journey via an app or online.


A2B Travel   

A2B Travel website

Operating services across several counties in East Anglia including Essex and Suffolk. They have fully wheelchair-accessible buses within the fleet. Services including bus routes, school buses, rail replacement.

Arriva (Herts and Essex)

Arriva (Herts and Essex) website

Covers areas in Essex and Hertfordshire. 

Central Connect

Central Connect website

Local bus routes throughout Hertfordshire & Essex, with routes spread from Bishop’s Stortford in the North and Loughton in the South.


Chambers website

Based in Clacton, with depots in Clacton, Kelvedon and Sible Hedingham. They operate route 88 (Halstead – Colchester) in a partnership with First Essex and Essex County Council. 


Ensignbus website

Covers Thurrock areas 

First Essex (First Bus)

First Essex (First Bus) website 

Bus routes in Colchester, Chelmsford and beyond Braintree, Southend, Lakeside and Brentwood.  

Stephensons of Essex     

Stephensons of Essex website     

Covers the whole of Essex. You can use the app – My Trip – to plan your trip. 


Vectare website          

Covers Brentwood, Chelmsford, Epping, Waltham Abbey, Harlow, St Margaret’s Hospital and more. Check online for timetables and bus routes.

Help with cost 

Older Person’s Bus Pass

Concessionary bus passes are available for older people who have reached state pension age and are resident in Essex. 

The Older Person’s Bus Pass entitles you to free travel on bus services throughout England from 9.30am to 11.00pm, Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.

Disabled Person’s Bus Pass

If you have a disability, you may be entitled to a Disabled Person’s Bus Pass. There is no upper age restriction for the Disabled Person’s Bus Pass. 

Disabled people can qualify under the following categories:

  • Visually Impaired
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Speech Impaired
  • Unable to walk
  • Loss of use of both arms
  • Learning impairment that has resulted in an arrested state of development before adulthood
  • Unable to drive for reasons of medical fitness.  

Apply for a bus pass online.

Or contact: 0345 200 0388 for an application form or for assistance completing one. Further information available here.

Special Assistance

First Buses have produced Extra Help to Travel Cards and Safe Journey Cards for people who have a disability to use on their buses. They are available from travel shops or you can download one using the links below:

Arriva offer Journey Assistance Cards to make it easier for customers with disabilities to travel, particularly those with hidden disabilities such as learning difficulties, mental health, mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments.

Sunflower lanyards are recognised onboard Arriva buses, to help customers with hidden disabilities feel safe and comfortable when travelling. Further information and downloadable cards available here.

Travelling with mobility equipment

Wheelchairs and Scooters

Low floor buses, such as those operated by First Bus, have a dedicated area for wheelchair/scooter users.

When your low floor bus arrives at the bus stop you can ask the driver to lower the step and/or ramp to allow you to board.

Wheelchair/scooter users have priority over everyone else for the use of the designated wheelchair space; however, there is the only one designated place in which they can travel safely.   

If the bus is full or there is already a wheelchair/scooter user on board, it may not be possible to carry another wheelchair/scooter user.

Check mobility equipment requirements with all operators before travelling.

Scooters that comply with the following measurements are permitted on First buses: 1000m long by 600mm wide and a maximum turning circle of 1200mm. 

You can obtain a First Bus travel permit to ensure your equipment can be carried on the bus. Find further information via this link.

Assistance Dogs

All recognised guide dogs and assistance dogs are allowed to travel for free. Further information can be found here

Routes and timetables

Local bus providers have journey planners and will be able to help you with information about your journey.

For instance, you can check when your next bus is due at your chosen stop using the First Bus journey planner.

If you are travelling outside the county, the national NextBus website will help you search for bus timetables and routes. Simply put in your postcode to find your nearest stop and the next bus due.

Traveline is a partnership of transport companies, local authorities and passenger groups which have come together to bring you routes and times for all travel in Great Britain by bus, rail, coach, and ferry and to provide it in as many different ways as possible. 

Any advice or information given by the Hubs Mobility Advice Service is impartial and correct at the time it is provided. However, as operators may change their services or equipment prior to your journey or booking, you are strongly advised to check any details directly with them shortly before you expect to travel.

Contact your local Hub

Get in touch with the East Anglia Hub for personal mobility advice and accessible travel information. Your Hub can help with local, national and international accessible travel advice.