Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from D Montague (BUS 57)


St Lawrence Bay is located in a rural area of Essex on the east coast. It is a rapidly developing village with 1100 adults on the electoral role and approx 175 children.

The population of St Lawrence has increased considerably over the last 10 years. A new housing estate consisting of some 120 new homes were built in Anchorage View, in addition to development and expansion of existing properties which has meant that the village now has an increasing number of young families living here.

Due to the lack of public transport it is estimated that 98% of the population have to own and use a car.

In addition the Waterside Caravan Park attracts tourists to the area during the summer.


The D1 bus service currently serves St Lawrence but only goes to Maldon. It takes an hour to get there and only runs every two hours. The first bus leaves at 9.07 and the last bus returns from Maldon at 15.55. This restricts the users to those who are retired wishing to shop in Maldon and does not accommodate anyone looking to commute to work.

The St Cedds primary school bus acts as a shopper bus on two days of the week travelling to Southend and Basildon and this is well used again by those who are retired but it does not run during the school holidays.


—  (a)  Inability to access employment - there is no access to work.

—  (b)  There is no connection to the rail service at Southminster other than a commuter bus that leaves at 06.20 and returns from Southminster at 18.30. The trains have recently been improved to run every 40 minutes as against every hour but we have no transport to Southminster station.

—  (c)  Links to other bus services from Bradwell on sea have delays between connections from anything between 45 minutes and an hour and there are no facilities or anywhere to wait.

—  (d)  No transport to doctors, which are located at either Tillingham or Southminster.

—  (e)  Facilities such as Opticians, Dentists, Banks are available in Burnham but those travelling by public transport are restricted to using those in Maldon.

—  (f)  Adult education courses are provided by St Peters High School in the evenings but there is no transport to Burnham.

—  (g)  Southminster is our nearest railway station providing the only transport we have to South Woodham Ferrers and beyond to Southend, Chelmsford and London.

—  (h)  The local Secondary school is located in Burnham on Crouch yet we have no public transport to get to Burnham on Crouch. So if they are unable to catch the school bus for any reason there is no other means of getting to and from school at any other time. This means that any after school activities are limited to finishing by 16.30 or children being collected by parents. This often occurs when children are involved in attending activities such as sporting events at other Essex schools and they return after the buses have left.

—  (i)  Social isolation for the young - The Secondary school is attended by children from Burnham, Southminster and other neighbouring villages but there is no transport for children to meet up with their friends either after school, at weekends or during the school holidays. Whether it is to go shopping in Chelmsford or Southend, visit London or just meet friends, there is no way the younger generation can get anywhere independently and without being taken by car.

—  (j)  Barriers and restrictions on choice for further education. Proves to be difficult to choose to study anywhere other than Burnham for A Levels or BTEC courses.

—  (k)  Transport to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford - this entails getting the current bus to Maldon and changing buses. This would take two hours in total. The last bus returning leaves at 14.32 and the journey would take 2 ½ hours unless you wanted to change buses four times and take three hours in which case you could leave at 16.06 and arrive back in St Lawrence at 18.56. The 4 ½ hour round trip is therefore not an attractive option for those attending outpatients and definitely not user friendly for those restricted by visiting hours.

Impact on St Lawrence after the Spending Review

We appreciate that there is no money to spend at the moment but with the ever increasing cost of fuel and running costs for cars it seems the ideal time to change the route of our one and only bus and to encourage more people to use public transport. Other villages on the current bus route are serviced by more than one bus and have transport to Southminster. So why can't St Lawrence?

We need transport to Southminster to provide a link to the railway line and other bus services such as the 31x to Chelmsford via Maldon. Southminster is the ideal location to become the hub for all Dengie Bus services and from here more services should then be provided direct to the hospital.

We need to encourage good bus-using habits and to tempt people to use the bus services rather than there cars.

February 2011

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Prepared 11 August 2011