John Whittingdale helped launch the new Dengie Dart Service helping Maldon and the Dengie Peninsula to connect with Chelmsford, Hatfield Peverel Station and Broomfield Hospital.

Operated by Arrow taxis of Maldon, the service is Dial and Ride along routes serving Dengie, Asheldham, Althorne, Mayland, Cold Norton, Stow Maries and Purleigh and in Maldon and Heybridge, while it operates as a conventional service between Maldon, Hatfield Peverel, Boreham and Broomfield. It can be booked any time between 6.00am and 11.00pm by dialling 01621 874410. Many of the fares are less than 30 per cent of the cost of a taxi for a similar journey.

This initiative has come about through the joint efforts of the Parish Councils, Maldon District Council, Essex County Council, the Rural Community Council of Essex, the Local Strategic Partnership, User Groups aand the PCT and Hospital Trust. Pictured at the launch are John Whittingdale, Mervyn Upsher (Mercedes Benz), Porta Mair (Bicknacre Youth Council), Cllr Penny Channer (Maldon District Council - Mayland), Nick Shuttleworth (Rural Community Council of Essex), Cllr John Archer (leader of Maldon District Council) and Cllr Sue White (Maldon District Council - Purleigh).