New to Bus Travel?

New to bus travel?

Here's how to travel by bus!

Prepare before you set off: download the app, plan your journey, and know where your stop is.

Once you've set off, ensure you're at the right stop when the bus is due to arrive (check timetables to see times). Raise your arm to signal the driver to stop and either purchase a ticket with cash or contactless, or activate and scan your pre-bought ticket on the app.

Take a seat if there's space, but be sure to give up your seat for elderly, disabled, or pregnant passengers. If standing, hold on to one of the rails. Press the 'stop' button when you're approaching where you want to get off and you're on your way!

I've never travelled by bus before, what do I do?

It’s easy to travel by bus. However, we realise that if you’re not familiar with bus travel it can be daunting, so we’ve put together a quick guide to let you know what to expect.  Enjoy the ride!

Before you set off

Before travelling, make sure you know which service you need to catch, where the bus stop is and when the bus will arrive there. You’ll probably want to check return journeys too, so you don’t miss the last bus back!

You can find this information by using our Journey Planner on the Hedingham & Chambers app or website, picking up one of our paper timetable leaflets from the bus, your local tourist information centre or call our customer services team on 03301 020801.

At the bus stop

Bus stops are clearly marked with a sign, and busy stops also have timetable information at the stop. Please remember that buses may go to different destinations from the same stop, so always check the number on the front of the bus to ensure it’s the one you want.

When you see the correct bus approaching the stop, raise your arm in order to signal to the driver that you wish the bus to stop. Please make sure the driver has seen your signal and that the bus is stopping, i.e. that the indicators are flashing, before you lower your arm. If you do not signal clearly the driver may not realise that you want to travel on their bus and drive past.  Remember that other people waiting at your stop may not want the same service as you, so don’t assume they’ll flag the bus down. 

If you are waiting at a sheltered, rural bus stop or in the winter nights, in the dark, shine a flash light or the light on your mobile phone so the driver can see you as he approaches. Please remember NOT to shine it in the drivers eyes, or you will distract their view. 

As the bus stops, please allow any passengers who want to get off the bus to step out the door before you board. If you find it difficult to get on board the bus the driver can lower the bus for you, although at bus stops without a raised pavement you may still have to step up slightly to get onto the bus.

Getting your ticket

When you get onto the bus please tell the driver where you’re travelling to, and what sort of ticket you want.

A single ticket will give you a one-way journey, a day return allows you to go there and back in one day. We also have weekly tickets and longer term tickets available, which give you longer days of travel.

Wherever possible, pay with contactless or buy your tickets on the app or online, this reduces the amount of time the bus has to spend at your stop and  helps keep the service on time. If you’re using a pass, such as a concessionary pass, place it on the ‘target’ on the driver’s ticket machine. Make sure it’s the right way up, so the driver can see your photo. 

If you're using a ticket bought on the Hedingham & Chambers app, please have the ticket activated and open when you board the bus and scan the QR code on the ticket machine. You may also wish to remove your mobile phone from its phone case, especially if you keep debit or credit cards, as it may accidently  charge you twice if it detects your cards. 

Ask the driver if you're not sure what to do.  Please keep your ticket or pass with you throughout the journey, as you’ll need to show it to an inspector if they board the bus.

Don’t forget that the driver is there to help you, so if you have any questions about the journey, or about where to catch the bus home from, please ask.

Sitting down

If you feel unsteady on your feet please ask the driver to wait until you are safely seated before he sets off.

If the bus is full and you are unable to find a seat for your journey, make sure you hold on to a nearby rail whilst travelling. If you go upstairs, please be careful as you move up and down the stairs, and make sure you keep hold of the handrail.  If you have to stand because the bus is full, please move down the bus to make room for others trying to board, and don’t stand if a seat is available.  Remember that standing near the doors or blocking the aisle can make it difficult for other people to get on and off the bus.  If you have a seat on a busy bus, and you are able to, please offer your seat to the elderly, disabled and those who are pregnant or carrying small children if they are standing.  Some seats at the front of the bus are reserved for elderly and disabled passengers, so please do not take these seats if they are required by those less able-bodied than yourself.

Once the driver has closed the doors and is pulling away from the bus stop their attention will be concentrated on the road, their mirrors, and other traffic so that the bus can safely pull out. If you get to the bus stop as the bus is pulling away the driver will usually not pull back in, as this could confuse other motorists and cause an accident.  Please make sure you get to the stop in plenty of time so you don’t miss your bus!  You can use our  to see when your bus will get to the stop.

On your way

So, now you’ve caught the bus, got your ticket and you’re on the way.  If you’re unfamiliar with the journey, make sure you keep an eye on where the bus has got to on the route – you don’t want to miss your stop!  If you’re travelling to an area you don’t know, and aren’t sure where to get off the bus, when boarding ask the driver to alert you when you reach the correct stop.  However, please don’t talk to the driver whilst the bus is moving as this could distract them.  If you do know where you need to get off the bus, look out for the stop coming up, and as you approach it ring the bell once, to let the driver know you want the bus to stop.  Try and give our driver plenty of time before the stop as they need to stop safely and take into consideration other road users.  If someone else has already rung the bell the ‘stopping’ sign will light up, so you don’t need to ring the bell again.

The bus will only stop at a bus stop, and the driver will open the doors once the bus has come to a halt.  Be careful stepping down from the bus to the pavement, and remember to make sure you’ve not forgotten any bags or luggage. 

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Can I take my wheelchair, pushchair, shopping trolley, Electric Scooter, bike or luggage on the bus?

All of our buses are low-floor, easy access buses, which are suitable for wheelchairs to travel on. They have ramps at the entrance which mean wheelchairs can easily get on board.

Pushchairs or buggies can be taken onto the bus.  You can put the buggy unfolded into the wheelchair space if it is not already occupied. However, if a wheelchair user wishes to board the bus, the driver will ask you to fold your pushchair and put it into the luggage rack.  Please make sure your pushchair or buggy does not block the aisle.

You can take a shopping trolley on the bus, as long as you can lift it on and off the bus yourself.  Please make sure you don't block the aisle with your trolley.  As you get on and off the bus please take care not to knock any other passenger’s legs with your trolley, and be careful as you wheel the trolley off the bus onto the pavement. Do not place your trolley on a seat as it may fall and hurt another passenger and take up another seat for someone to use when they travel

Sorry, fixed frame bikes can't be taken on the bus, as there's no room to safely carry them.  Foldable bikes are allowed on board, as long as they're folded and in a suitable bag. Electric Scooters are not allowed to travel on our buses. 

Luggage, such as suitcases, are welcome on the bus, although please make sure it's safely stowed in the luggage rack or another safe space, and make sure you don't block the aisle of the bus. Do not put bags onto seats and keep your feet off the chairs at all times. Be respectful of others travelling.