BBARUA


Newsletter Spring/Summer 2020



Coronavirus: rail travel information and advice


The Government has announced that everyone travelling on public transport in England will be required to wear a face covering from June 15 2020. This includes railway stations and terminals.

For more information please visit the Greater Anglia Coronavirus information page here.

Current information from Transport for London can be found here



Brentwood High Street reopened


Brentwood High St has now reopened to traffic after being closed to vehicles from 9am to 6pm, except buses and cycles, for an interim period beginning on 4th July 2020, to enable safer social distancing in the town centre.
Essex County Council and Brentwood Borough Council had worked together after retailers suggested an interim closure to private vehicles, with just buses and cycling allowed, would bring a much-needed boost to the shops.
The changes were paid for by Government as part of national work to re-open town centres safely.
Called ‘Safer, Greener, Healthier’, these schemes aim to provide bigger, safer spaces for city centre shoppers, residents, workers and visitors to maintain social distance. Measures will be constantly reviewed and altered if required.
Brentwood Council gathered the views of residents, visitors and businesses to help assess the success or otherwise of these measures on the High Street and Essex County Council conducted a survey as well as having staff present in the town centre to collect feedback.
Further information can be found here





Essex County Council "Stop. Swap. GO!" campaign launched


A new sustainable travel campaign aiming to make it easier for people in Essex to switch from cars to sustainable travel, such as walking, cycling and using the bus has been launched.
Stop. Swap. GO! is a campaign led by Essex County Council, aiming to drive behaviour change and increase sustainable travel in the county. The project launched on Monday 6 July and will feature content across the official Stop. Swap. GO! social media channels, with a new website which went live on Wednesday 8 July. The aim of this campaign is to make it easier and more motivating for Essex residents to switch from car to more sustainable travel choices in the future.
This campaign builds upon temporary work which is now installed in town and city centres across Essex which increase space for social distancing and encourages walking, cycling and bus use.
As part of the campaign, residents from across the county will be able to share their own sustainable travel stories and tips on social media, find further information on local cycle and walking routes, tap in to initiatives and resources, and sign up to take part in a ground-breaking 60-day sustainable travel challenge, where prizes are on offer. The campaign will grow and develop over time. Stop. Swap. GO! will also work in partnership with local bus operators to increase bus use within the county, feeding back information from its community, to make it easier for people to use buses. The campaign will be informed by both the latest research into travel behaviour and behavioural science insights. Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Sustainable Travel, said: “As we come out of lockdown, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to greatly improve our air quality and our health as well as the life opportunities for the next generation. “The way we do all these things is by helping people to switch from car travel to active and sustainable travel, walking, cycling and using buses. To create that behaviour change we need a framework for people, communities and businesses to engage with, a space to share experiences, tips and encouragement. “Stop. Swap. GO! will provide that framework, building on Essex County Council’s already forward-thinking strategic travel policies and initiatives. This campaign will allow all residents to share their travel stories and create a community which can work together to improving active and sustainable travel in Essex.”

For Essex County Council media enquiries:
Press Office at press.desk@essex.gov.uk
Out of Hours: 07717 867525
More information at StopSwapGo campaign, facebook, instagram


Newsletter Autumn 2019

Are You Getting What You Pay For?
Rail travellers have faced inflation-busting rail fares over the past few years. At the same time they have been promised a better service - but inevitably at some undefined point in the future.
Your fare will rise by 2.8% in January 2020, in line with the increase in the Retail Price Index as measured in July. This follows a 3.4% increase in January this year (2019) and follows increases of 2.3% in 2017, 1.1% in 2016 and 2.2% in 2015.
At the same time any benefits from the Elizabeth Line are being pushed further down the track to sometime between October 2020 and March 2021 - with no guarantee that timetable will be met.
Meanwhile a lift on Platform Four at Brentwood is no nearer after failing to get funding through the Department for Transport Access for All scheme, despite the support of the Brentwood Access Group and local MP Alex Burghart. And the Brentwood Bus and Rail Users’ Association is campaigning for a Help Point on Platform Four - otherwise the most "accessible" is on the footbridge, useless for passengers with mobility issues, or in an emergency.
(See Brentwood Access Group notes for the BBARUA 2019 AGM)
The Association also wants lavatories on all Elizabeth Line platforms to reflect the fact that there are none on the trains.
Cllr David Kendall, the Association's Chair, said passengers were being short-changed by continual increases as improved services remain as far away as ever despite the fare increases.
”Today's passengers are paying for improvements that are still years away, just as, historically, travellers paid for improvements they probably never saw. Paying for much-needed improvements out of revenue is an insult to the travelling public.
"We also have concerns about access for people with disabilities, passenger security and staffing on platforms, especially at night. We believe Crossrail has definitely missed a trick by not providing toilets on trains, but we recognise it is too late to alter that. But an accessible loo on each Elizabeth Line platform, open throughout the operating time, is essential for the many people who may need one, even if it means catching the next train."

”Minor" Changes to Bus Timetables Cause Problems for Users
Timetable changes introduced by First in September took many users by surprise and were far from insignificant. The No.9 has timetable alterations early morning and late afternoon early evening with some buses running earlier and some later with two fewer buses from Basildon to Warley before 9am.
The 351 Chelmsford to Brentwood service lost two buses between Chelmsford and Brentwood before 9am, and three fewer between 5pm and 8 pm, with the last bus from Chelmsford now 19.05. The 351 Brentwood to Chelmsford will have one fewer bus before 7.30am, two fewer after 6pm, and the last from Warley is now at 19.55. Daytime buses all run five minutes earlier.
BBARUA Chair Cllr David Kendall said: ”lf the lost services were not bad enough, the timetable changes were poorly publicised, taking many users by surprise and potentially meaning missed buses, with all that entails. We are urgently pursuing the communications issue with First to avoid a repetition in future."
The changes are in addition to the alterations to Essex County Council-supported services effecting in March 2020

Brentwood Strawberry Fair

Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association had a stall at the Brentwood Strawberry Fair at Shenfield Common on 15 June 2019
Visitors to the stall were able to obtain copies of the new NIBS bus timetables.

Local Development Plan

Brentwood Council is preparing a new plan which could adversely affect transport in the Borough.
David Jobbins, the Vice Chair of BBARUA has commented: "The Plan will clearly have far-reaching implications for Brentwood’s public transport network. First, it changes significantly the size and distribution of the borough’s population and the consequent additional requirements for ways to access work, health and education, shopping and leisure.
Secondly it will add to the already problematic traffic congestion issues at known pinch-points in the borough, which are already making it very difficult for bus operators to maintain a regular and efficient service."