Residents at Beaulieu, the development by Countryside and L&Q in Chelmsford, will now benefit from a new bus service which commenced on 2nd April to make travelling to and from Chelmsford a great deal easier. The new express route, service 57, is being operated by First Essex and will run every 20 minutes Monday to Friday, every 30 minutes on Saturdays and hourly on Sundays along the Chelmer Valley Road, meaning residents can travel between the centre of Chelmsford and home in less than 20 minutes. This rapid new bus route will also allow commuters to get from home to London Liverpool Street in as little as one hour.
This collaboration between a bus company and residential developer is the first of its kind with travellers able to use a pioneering M Ticketing facility on the service. This innovative software allows passengers to download their ticket onto their mobile device, they can also renew their tickets and receive real time information on expected arrival and departure times.
Trials undertaken by First Essex have shown that this innovation, whereby passengers simply show their valid ticket displayed on their phone to the bus driver, will dramatically reduce boarding times on buses. This will make the service more attractive to use, help ease road congestion as passengers embark and disembark quicker and make commuting easier. Trials suggest that journey times on routes could be reduced by as much as 50% as a result of the new app.
Speaking about the new bus route, Andrew Carrington, Managing Director of Strategic Land at Countryside said: “We are pleased to offer our residents this new express bus route to the City Centre and Chelmsford Railway Station, and are delighted that First Essex has come up with a fast, efficient process to help speed up boarding times along the route. This new service offers our residents at Beaulieu a convenient alternative to using the car for their daily commute into the centre of Chelmsford and as such we are offering them one year’s free bus travel for up to four members of their household.”
Alex Jones, Managing Director of First Essex said: “These are exciting times ahead. I am pleased to be announcing a joint investment with our partners Countryside and L&Q in four new buses to the First Essex bus fleet that will start operation on our new ‘Service 57’ serving the Beaulieu development. Our mTicket app will also provide many benefits for residents taking advantage of the bus service, as it provides a seamless, no hassle, convenient way to pay for bus travel. Countryside and L&Q has done an excellent job in creating the new development and together we can provide an environmentally friendly, convenient, regular, cost effective, travel solution for residents travelling to Chelmsford and onto London”
Jerome Geoghegan, Group Director, Development and Sales, at L&Q said: “We firmly believe as joint partners with Countryside that providing a sustainable infrastructure is as important as building fabulous sustainable homes. Busses, roads and trains were in the masterplan from conception and it is exciting to see this all coming together as residents start to move in.”
Countryside and partners L&Q have designed a sustainable new community at Beaulieu on the outskirts of Chelmsford. Once completed the development will provide 3,600 new homes and an extensive range of community facilities including two new primary schools and a secondary school. A new Neighbourhood Centre, known as Beaulieu Square, is currently under construction with shops, day nursery, education centre and community centre.
Beaulieu will eventually provide a strategic 400,000 sqft business park along with a new relief road which connects Beaulieu with the A12 and in 2022 the development will have a new mainline railway station on the East Anglian main line, which is due to be developed by Network Rail following a £22m investment from Beaulieu.