Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Travelling to Writtle

In Writtle, our campus address is Lordship Road, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3RR. We're just two miles from the centre of Chelmsford.

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How to find us

Our campus is a few minutes' walk from Writtle village, which is served by several local bus routes.

There is plenty of cycle parking and a number of cycle paths on or near campus.

A free shuttle bus service operates to and from Chelmsford during further education term times for students and staff only. See the section 'Free shuttle bus' below for more details.

Our campus is close to local bus routes run by First Bus which stop in Writtle village. The campus is just a few minutes' walk away.

Chelmsford has two Park and Ride sites with a regular bus service to and from the city:

  • Chelmer Valley Park and Ride: buses run frequently six days a week from early morning to the evening. They stop at Chelmsford train station. From here, you can walk along to Coval Lane and catch the free shuttle bus to campus (for students and staff) or a First Bus to Writtle village.
  • Sandon Park and Ride: buses run frequently six days a week from early morning to early evening. They stop near Chelmsford train station. From here, you can walk along to Coval Lane and catch the free shuttle bus to campus (for students and staff) or a First Bus to Writtle village.

If you're travelling from further afield, some National Express coaches and the X30 bus service from Stansted Airport stop at Chelmsford bus station.

Chelmsford station is on the main London Liverpool Street to Norwich line. There are up to six trains an hour to London Liverpool Street and the journey time is about 35 minutes. Regular services also run to Stratford, Shenfield, Braintree, Witham, Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea. National Rail Enquiries is helpful for planning your journey.

From Chelmsford, a free shuttle bus service runs to Writtle campus (for students and staff), picking up and dropping off near the train station.

Alternatively you can catch a First Bus from Chelmsford Bus Station (opposite the train station) to Writtle village.

Writtle is around 20 minutes’ drive from the M25 which gives excellent access to the national road network. The A12 is 15 minutes away and is a direct route into London.

If you're joining us as an international student, taxi services and airport cars are available from all major UK airports to Writtle.

There are also coach and train services from London airports, as follows.

  • London Stansted: catch the X30 coach service from Stansted Airport to Chelmsford Bus Station. You can then catch a local bus, or use the free shuttle service for students (see above). Alternatively, there are regular trains to Chelmsford from Stansted Airport, with just one change. Book your ticket and find out more information online.
  • London Heathrow: catch the NX501 coach service from Heathrow Airport. Change at Victoria Coach Station in London on to the NX481 service to Chelmsford. You can then catch a local bus, or use the free shuttle service for students (see above). Alternatively, there are regular trains to Chelmsford from Heathrow with just two changes. Book your ticket and find out more information online.
  • London Gatwick: catch the NXA3 coach service from Gatwick Airport to Victoria Coach Station in London. Change on to the NX484 coach service to Chelmsford. You can then catch a local bus, or use the free shuttle service for students (see above). Alternatively, there are regular trains to Chelmsford from Gatwick with just two changes. Book your ticket and find out more information online.
  • London Southend: catch the X30 coach service from Southend via Stansted Airport to Chelmsford. You can then catch a local bus, or use the free shuttle service for students (see above). Alternatively, there are regular trains to Chelmsford from Southend airport with just one change. Book your ticket and find out more information online.
  • London City: there are regular trains to Chelmsford from London City airport with just one change. You can then catch a local bus, or use the free shuttle service for students (see above). Book your ticket and find out more information online.
  • London Luton: catch the NXA1 coach service from Luton Airport to Victoria Coach Station in London. Change on to the NX481 service to Chelmsford. You can then catch a local bus, or use the free shuttle service for students (see above).

A free shuttle bus service for students at Writtle operates during further education term times.

The shuttle bus picks up in Coval Lane, Chelmsford (beside the council offices and just along the road from the main bus and train stations), and drops off at the Main Campus, and Cow Watering Campus.

There's no need to pre-book. Please note that spaces are offered on a first come, first served basis and there can be high demand. In the mornings we recommend reaching the pick-up point early, so you have plenty of time to travel to Writtle before classes start.

Bus times are:

  • Morning: 8am-9.15am (full service)
  • Day: 10am-3pm (limited service)
  • Evening: 3-6pm (full service); last bus leaves Cow Watering Campus at 5.50pm

During full service times, buses are continually in operation on the route.

Download shuttle bus service times (PDF)



In Essex, local councils have their own transport policies for students aged 16-19 who live in the area. These can help with the cost of travelling to college.

Essex County Council

You can apply for post-16 transport assistance from Essex County Council if you are under 19 at the beginning of the academic year and meet their criteria.

Southend City Council

If you live in the city of Southend-on-Sea, you can apply to the City Council's Post-16 Transport Scheme. The discretionary scheme is for students over the age of 16 and up to 19. Transport awards are discretionary.

Thurrock Borough Council

Thurrock provides travel assistance for students age 16 and over if they have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and have been assessed as eligible. You can apply for assistance from 1 June 2024.

If you are eligible for transport assistance a contribution towards the cost will be required. The contribution is £23.69 per week (£900 per year). This is reduced to £11.85 per week (£450 per year) for low-income families.

If you do not have special educational needs, you can apply for a 16-19 bursary to support transport costs.

If you're aged 16-19, studying a college course and would benefit from help with transport costs, you can:

  • apply to your local council for assistance in the first instance (see the section 'Local council transport schemes' above)
  • if you're unable to get financial assistance from your council, you can apply for help (up to 50% of travel costs) from Writtle College's means-tested support fund.  Application forms will be available from the start of the autumn term in September, after you've enrolled on your course. You may not, therefore, get assistance with your initial travel costs
  • explore discounts on bus and train travel (see below).

First Bus Essex

Students can buy discounted bus travel for First Essex's Student Travel Club.

You'll first need to register, using a passcode. You can get a passcode from the transport team at Writtle. Please email the following information to [email protected]:

  • your full name
  • student number
  • email address.

In early August, you'll receive an email containing your unique passcode and information on:

  • how to register with First Essex's Student Travel Club
  • the ticket types available
  • how to buy a web-to-mobile ticket
  • how to download the First Bus App and create an account.

Find out more about fares and bus routes on the First Essex website.

Arriva Bus Services

Arriva student tickets are for anyone in post-16 full-time education with a valid student ID.

You'll get:

  • discounted fares
  • unlimited travel in your travel zone, at any time of day (including evenings, weekends and holidays)
  • a choice of daily, weekly, term-time and annual tickets. You can spread the cost of annual tickets with monthly direct debit payments.

You can buy daily and weekly tickets on a bus using cash or a contactless card.

You can buy all types of tickets on Arriva's website or app.

When selecting your ticket, you’ll require an All Zone Student ticket.

If you want to apply for an annual ticket, visit Arriva's direct debit tickets page and follow instructions for your region. You can set your direct debit to start at a future date, or start it now to get used to local bus routes. Once registered you can select to receive your monthly pass by post or have it sent to your phone. The monthly pass will rollover every month for as long as your direct debit remains active.

Find out more about monthly direct debit fares and plan your journey on the Arriva website.

The railcards and tickets below can be used at any time, including evenings, weekends and during college holidays.

16-17 Saver railcard

If you're aged 16 or 17, you can get 50% off most standard Anytime, Off-Peak, Advance and Season tickets across the National Rail network.

A 16-17 Saver costs £30 and is valid for one year or until your 18th birthday, whichever comes first. 

You can buy a 16-17 Saver online or by phone (call 0345 301 1656). Please note it's not available to buy at train stations. When ordering online, you can request a digital railcard or a plastic version that is posted to you.

Find out more about the 16-17 Saver, including details of any minimum fares and restrictions.

When buying a 16-17 Saver you'll need:

  • evidence of your age – a valid UK driving licence, passport or national ID card
  • a good quality digital passport-style photo
  • a debit or credit card for payment.

If you don't have any of the above forms of ID, you can upload a scan of your birth certificate or a Government-approved PASS card instead. Your application will take a little longer to process.

16-25 Railcard

If you're aged 16-25 or a full-time student aged 26 and over, you can save one-third off train travel across the National Rail network with a 16-25 Railcard.

A 16-25 Railcard costs £30 and is valid for one year. There is also a 3-year version for £70; you can apply for one up until the day before your 24th birthday.

You can buy a 16-25 Railcard online, by phone (call 0345 3000 250), or in person at staffed station ticket offices. When ordering online, you can request a digital railcard or a plastic version that is posted to you.

The Railcard can also help you save money with Network Rail's partners, for example on days out and restaurants.

Find out more about the 16-25 Railcard, including details of any minimum fares and restrictions.

When buying a 16-25 Railcard you'll need:

  • evidence of your age – a valid UK driving licence, passport or national ID card
  • a good quality digital passport-style photo
  • a debit or credit card for payment.

Scholar Season Ticket (Greater Anglia) 

Greater Anglia offers substantial discounts on rail travel to students aged 16-19. The following options are available:

  • term tickets
  • academic year tickets
  • monthly tickets.

Travel must be between any two stations within the Greater Anglia network (excludes Travelcard and Oyster areas).

Scholar tickets are available at https://railplus.greateranglia.co.uk/scholars.html or by phone on 0345 600 7245 – select option 3, then option 2.

DigiGo

DigoGo is an on-demand minibus service currently operating in south Braintree and central Essex. This includes our campus in Writtle.

You can book using the TravelEssex app (or by phone on 01245 203952, 10am-12pm weekdays). Concessionary fares are available for under 18s.

DigiGo vehicles have no fixed routes or timetables. Instead, you select your pick-up and drop-off points and the system automatically calculates the route, catering for any other pick-ups along the way. The app will display 'virtual stops' near to your chosen pick-up location, where you can board the minibus.

All drivers are enhanced DBS checked.

The service:

  • operates 7 days a week, from 7am-10pm (excluding bank holidays)
  • can be pre-booked up to 7 days in advance, or on-demand (pick-up ASAP)
  • accepts group bookings for up to ten people.

Find out where DigiGo operates or read more about the service at https://www.travelessex.co.uk/about-demand-responsive-transport/ddrt.

Information about travel assistance and discounts for students is provided as a guide, and may change. Details of some discounts become available in the summer, and we may add additional information at that time. If you'd like to receive information about transport assistance and discounts for students at Writtle, please let us know using the contact details below. We will send this information by email in July.