DaRT LogoSince the 2017 August Bank Holiday a Demand Responsive Transport (DaRT) service has replaced the regular 11, 12 & 13 bus services operated by Regal Busways.

Great Maplestead, Little Maplestead, Gestingthorpe, Pebmarsh, Wickham St Paul and Bulmer now have a new flexible and more frequent bus service between Sudbury and Halstead – the DaRT F315.

This is operated by Arrow Taxis, using wheelchair-friendly minibuses typically accommodating between 8 and 16 passengers. The service runs between 6.00am and 8.00pm, Mondays to Saturdays inclusive.

A DaRT service differs from a normal bus service in that it is totally flexible, able to divert on and off a route in order to collect and drop off passengers at various locations within the service’s operating area, for example a hospital.

However, unlike a conventional bus, DaRT passengers must book a seat, and register as a customer, at least two hours in advance of travel. Passengers wishing to travel regularly do not need to book each time they travel – they can make a regular booking, valid for three months.

 

Bookings can be made either by:

Telephone: 01621 874 411

or e-mail: bookings@essexandsuffolkdart.co.uk

 

In order to allow passengers to get used to the new scheme, the DaRT F315 service will initially run to a timetable between Halstead and Sudbury. However, parts of this service will be Demand Responsive only, and this includes Great Maplestead – in other words, the bus won’t visit Great Maplestead unless the service is booked.

The timetable was revised from the begining of September to allow better connectivity with the morning train service in Sudbury and to provide a more suitable service for schoolchildren in the afternoon - further slight amendments to the timetable were made in October. More details of the latest timetable can be found here.

The time-tabled service is scheduled to run for a 3-6 months familiarisation period – during this time passengers will not need to book the time-tabled segment but will need to book for the DaRT segment.

 

Fares for the DaRT F315 service operate on the basic fare structure shown below:

   Adult 

     (over 18)      

 Child 

  (11 to 18 inc.)   

Single   Return   Single   Return  
 £2.50    £3.50    £1.50     £2.00  

 

Concessionary bus passes will be accepted after 9.00am until midnight.

Click here for answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. Further information can be found on the Essex County Council website.

 

Changes to other Local Bus Services

After 27th August 2017 a number of other Local Bus Services previously provided by Regal Busways were also withdrawn or transferred to a new operator:

Service 70 M – Sat evenings (after 18:35) (Braintree - Colchester) – withdrawn, no replacement

Service 89 – the 0628 Mondays to Fridays (Great Yeldham – Braintree) – withdrawn: Hedingham & District Omnibus offer a journey from Gt Yeldham at 0623

Service 88 (Sundays and public holidays) (Colchester – Halstead) – service re-numbered as 88a and operated by First Essex Buses to a revised timetable*

Service 91 (Tollesbury – Witham) All ECC journeys on this service will be operated by Hedingham and District Omnibuses to a revised timetable*

Service 341 (Fuller Street – Witham, Thursdays Only); Service 343 (Fuller Street – Braintree, Saturdays Only); Service 344 (Black Notley – Chelmsford) – all withdrawn: some alternative journeys can be made using services 345 & SB21*

Service 345 – has transferred to being operated by Hedingham & District Omnibuses, with no changes to the timetable.

 

* Timetables for all these services can be found by going to www.traveline.info/se and clicking on Find Timetable’