County advice overview
Both local and national coach services operate within Essex.
It is advisable to contact the coach provider directly for details regarding wheelchair accessibility and mobility requirements as this can vary between providers and routes.
Traveline provides information on bus routes and timetables and offers a detailed guide to all Essex travel.
If you are planning a journey by coach, and you have reduced mobility or a disability, you may wish to consider in advance:
- If the destination stop is accessible and which arrangements you may need to make for onward travel
- Which mobility aids you will be travelling with. (Contact the provider if you are unsure whether you can travel with your scooter/wheelchair)
- Most toilets on coaches are not wheelchair accessible – If you have any concerns, speak to the coach provider or if you are travelling with National Express, contact their Assisted Travel Team prior to travel. You can ask the driver to make a stop at the next available accessible service station.
You may also wish to consider:
- Where the nearest coach pick-up point is and how you will travel there
- Which method of payment is accepted and if the ticket can be bought online to save you time
- What destination stop you need. (The bus driver should be happy to help)
South East Coaches
Coach hire in London and Chelmsford.
Contact: 01245 325293
Services include airport transfers, school transport and executive coach hire.
Contact: 01376 320501
Offe travel across the UK and Europe, including theatre trips and day excursions.
Contact: 01245 320598
Including airport, ferry and rail transfers, UK tours, theatre trips and day trips.
Contact: 01245 361136
Chariots of Essex
Services include airport, ferry and rail transfers, UK tours, theatre trips and day trips.
Contact: 0808 189 0877
Supreme Coaches provide a range of coach hire, corporate travel and transport facilities throughout the county.
Contact: 01245 401541
Offer coach hire in Essex, Hertfordshire and London for UK and European destinations. Multiple wheelchair accessible coaches.
Contact: 01279 793800
Operate several pick-up locations across Essex.
Provides an extensive service from Chelmsford to destinations throughout the UK.
Help with cost
If you are 60 or over, you can apply for a National Express Senior Coachcard.
It offers a 1/3 saving on Standard and Fully Flexible fares to hundreds of towns, cities, and airports across the UK.
There are no restrictions on peak and off-peak travel times, and you can travel on public holidays, bank holidays and weekends. Benefits include:
- Save 1/3 on Standard and Fully Flexible fares, even at peak times.
- £15 day-return on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to anywhere in the UK (excluding airports). Just book 3 days in advance of your travel.
- Free journey if your coach is delayed for over an hour
Apply for a card on their website, by phone or at any National Express ticket outlet.
National Express Disabled Coachcard
A Disabled Coachcard offers a 1/3 saving on Standard and Fully Flexible fares to hundreds of UK towns, cities and airports. For more information, please use this link.
Check my Bus
Check my Bus will help you find the cheapest fares for your journey.
National Express have created a selection of Journey Assistance Cards for passengers. They explain to staff and drivers any need for assistance or exemptions from requirements. For example, if you have a hearing impairment.
Journey Assistance Cards can be downloaded here.
Travelling with Mobility Equipment
It is recommended to contact your coach operator to check accessibility requirements in advance of travel.
Some coaches may be equipped with a wheelchair lift; however, it may not be deployed at all stops. Some operators will stow walking aids; however, you may be required to get up and down steps and access your seat independently.
National Express has a dedicated Assisted Travel Team who you can contact on 03717 818181 to talk through your needs. (9.00am – 5.00pm, 7 days a week.)
It is not a requirement to book your assistance in advance, but it will help National Express to provide your assistance if you do so.
Wheelchair users are advised to book travel in advance, although this is not essential. This will allow National Express to carry out the following checks:
- that the wheelchair is compatible with the space on the coach
- that the combined weight of the customer and the wheelchair do not exceed the maximum weight capacity of being lifted by the wheelchair lift
- that the locations at which the customer plans to board and alight the coach from are accessible stops at which the wheelchair lift can be deployed
- that the specific coach on which the customer plans to travel is not already fully booked
Customers cannot travel in their mobility scooters; however, small lightweight mobility scooters that can be dismantled and safely stowed in the luggage hold of the coach are accepted.
To check if your scooter will be accepted, you will need to provide details of the size, make and model of the mobility scooter you will be travelling with. You will be advised either at the time of booking, or by National Express calling you back, about the suitability of your mobility scooter for carriage in the luggage hold.
Megabus offers assistance to people with mobility difficulties or those who normally use a wheelchair.
They recommend that all wheelchair users contact them before purchasing their tickets to book the wheelchair space.
All coaches are wheelchair accessible and can carry one seated wheelchair user subject to size and weight limits. (Max weight 300kg, dimensions length 1200mm x width 700mm x height 1350mm including the seated passenger.)
Megabus are unable to accommodate passengers seated in mobility scooters. However, if you use a wheelchair (max weight 20kg) or mobility scooter and are able to climb the few steps into the bus, your mobility device can be stored in the luggage bay and the driver will help you to your seat.
In order to be accepted for transit, your mobility scooter must break down into separate parts, each weighing no more than 20kg. You or a companion must be able to dismantle and reassemble the mobility scooter for carriage in the luggage hold.
Are accepted on both Megabus and National Express services
Routes and timetables
Traveline is a partnership of transport companies, local authorities and passenger groups which have come together to bring routes and times for all travel in Great Britain by bus, rail, coach, and ferry. They can help you find the way that best suits you for making your journey using the most up to date information.
If you need help to plan a journey, Traveline’s national call centre can be contacted on 0871 200 2233.
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.