Chelmsford Park & Ride Consultation

Closed 22 Mar 2019

Opened 21 Jan 2019


Consultation on proposals for changes to the ticketing options and fares offered at Chelmsford Park and Ride services and on Saturday opening at the Chelmer Valley site.

[Find the link to share your views at the end of this page].

The proposals:

1. Closure of Chelmer Valley Park and Ride on Saturdays
2. A discounted ticket offer
3. Raise the child ticket age from 16 to 18 years of age
4. Remove the on-site ticket machines

Essex County Council is reviewing the ticketing options and fares offered and days of opening for the Chelmsford Park and Ride Services. This consultation gives you the opportunity to let us know your views about the proposals.

Our high ambitions for Essex and Essex County Council have begun to be achieved. Despite the ever-increasing financial challenges facing us, we have continued to provide the services residents and businesses need.

What we do is driven by four strategic aims: enabling inclusive economic growth, help people get the best start and age well, help create great places to live, work and grow up, and transform the council to achieve more with less.

Our strong track record of financial management has enabled us to do this, operating within a legally required balanced budget. Last year, that meant finding over £1 million a week in efficiencies, through innovating to continue to provide services at lower cost, with greater efficiency. Increasing this has meant investing in digital services and seeking to generate income. We also continued to invest in Essex infrastructure, a key element in driving economic growth.

Even greater challenges 

How we are funded is changing. By the end of 2020, our main grant – the Revenue Support Grant – will have been phased out entirely. This will mean a £46m reduction in 2019/20. Our income will come entirely from council tax, business rates, grants which are specific to our services and fees and charges.

As in previous years, we will aim to keep council tax as low as possible through generating income and revenue where people can afford to pay for services and where there is demand for them. Demographic changes – particularly an ever-ageing, ever-growing population – which also create demand pressures, alongside inflation, also contribute to the financial pressures we face.

The combination of these factors means that, unless we think differently about the services we offer and how residents and businesses access them, we will not succeed in delivering our ambitions for Essex. Unless we change, reform and transform, the services we are responsible for will stop keeping pace with what people need.

This means that, alongside those services which we retain and continue to invest in, or invest even more in than in previous years, some of them will change and some of them will no longer be provided where they are now.

Increasingly, digital platforms offer us new ways of connecting with individuals and communities and of offering services. Leveraging the power of data to help us understand where the most pressing needs and the key challenges are, allied to new, more citizen-friendly ways of dealing with those needs through digital platforms is how we will develop our approach.

The way we shop, travel, work, learn and enjoy leisure time has been transformed over the past decade and the pace of change is ever increasing. The information and analysis we now have at our disposal means we design services better for the present and the future. We have to make sure we seize that opportunity.

Why We Are Consulting

Chelmsford Park and Ride services were put in place to reduce congestion and therefore reduce pollution within the city by providing travellers with a high quality and frequent bus service from two sites: Sandon and Chelmer
Valley. These services are continually under review with the aim of maximising the benefits of these services while keeping the cost to the taxpayer as low as possible.

The proposals listed below aim to reduce costs to the taxpayer, improve the running times of the services and meet some customer requests received from the recent Park and Ride survey in summer 2018.

The proposed consultation will ask questions around the following:

  1. Closure of Chelmer Valley Park and Ride on Saturdays due to low usage. Sandon would remain open for customers wishing to use Park and Ride and would run on a loop route around the city centre.
  2. A discounted ticket offer when tickets are purchased digitally through a mobile app.
  3. Raise the child ticket age from 16 to 18 years of age.
  4. Remove the on-site ticket machines as they approach the end of their lifespan from 2019, but continue to allow cash fares to be taken on bus.

We are also proposing to make the usual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase to fares from August 2019 to ensure that the costs of the service continue to be met by users rather than taxpayers.

Consultation will run until 22 March 2019.

We will then consider responses and make an announcement of how we intend to proceed in the summer 2019.

Further Information

The information contained in this consultation can be translated, and/or made available in alternative formats, on request.

If you have any queries about this strategy, or if you wish to submit a response for an organisation or group of people or provide a more detailed response than allowed for in this survey, written submissions will be accepted by email at

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Unfortunately it is not possible to respond to individual comments and questions. If you would like to make a complaint, comment or compliment regarding any services provided by Essex County Council, please use our online form at

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