Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve put some of the most common questions and answers here ..... we’ll add more as they crop up .....
If you have a question that’s not answered below, please do contact us at or visit the Facebook page (link at the top of every page).
To help you find the question you’re looking for, we have grouped them under the following headings:
Q. What time does the event start and finish?
A. The rally at Barleylands runs from 10am to 4pm
Q. How much does the event cost?
A. It’s £5 per person on the day to enter the rally site - this will include the event programme which has 20 colour pages. Accompanied children are free of charge. You can save money by buying your entrance ticket in advance for £3.95 at http://www.visionsinternational.biz/html/londoner_in_the_country.html
Entry to the main Barleylands site is free of charge, and all of our buses are free to ride on.
Q. Wasn’t the rally free entry previously? Why are you now charging an entry fee?
A. The rally was free entry for the first two years (2016 & 2017) but it ran a financial loss in excess of £600. With the forced move to a larger site in 2018, thus incurring a greater hire charge for the rally site, and the subsequent need to hire in toilets, we cannot sustain running at a financial loss and so we have changed to being a paid entry event.
Site and toilet hire are just two of the many costs associated with putting the rally on. There is also public liability insurance, first aid cover, advertising, skip hire to clear the rubbish away, signage provision, things like Hi Viz and radio’s for our rally staff, postage stamps, paper & printer ink for the administration of the rally, tables & chairs for the picnic area, safety fencing, road cones, etc, etc. It costs thousands of pounds to put the rally on and so we have to ask for a contribution towards those costs from each visitor in order to keep the rally financially viable.
Q. I’m a London Bus Club member. Do I get a discount on the entrance fee?
A. Sorry, no, your London Bus Club membership will not attract a discount on the entrance fee. The Londoner in the Country Show element of the event is within the Essex Bus Rally. Your entrance fee is collected by Essex Bus Rally as it is Essex Bus Rally which hires the site and provides all of the facilities such as toilets, first aid cover, event signage, picnic area, rubbish bins, site set up and clearance, etc, etc.
Q. Is it ok to have a barbecue on the rally field?
A. No. Fires, barbecue’s and anything similar are not allowed on the rally field. The only food cooking permitted on site will be official food caterers booked by us; these people have particular procedures in place to control the risks they bring with their activities.
Q. Is it ok to eat my lunch on the buses?
A. Most of the buses used on the free bus services are privately owned preserved vehicles. Please respect the vehicles and their owners by refraining from eating or drinking whilst on board. We will have a picnic area with tables and chairs supplied for those that wish to rest their legs and have a bite to eat.
Q. Can I hire any of the buses?
A. The vast majority of the buses attending the rally are privately owned preserved vehicles. These types of vehicle cannot usually be hired as they won’t have the appropriate MOT, Insurance or operators licence as required for hire & reward work. To hire a bus or coach, you should speak to an actual bus or coach company.
Q. Do you have disabled parking?
A. There is disabled parking available at Barleylands, where the bus rally site is being hosted. All car parks in Basildon town centre have disabled parking spaces.
Q. Can buses used on the free services carry wheelchairs or unfolded buggies?
A. Unfortunately the vast majority of the buses on the free bus service are vintage vehicles built long before the concept of accessibility was incorporated into bus design; therefore we’re unable to accommodate unfolded wheelchairs or buggies. Most buses have steps that need to be negotiated when boarding.
Q. Do you have disabled toliets?
A. Yes. Fully accessible toilets for the disabled are available at both Barleylands and within Basildon town centre.
Bus Owners (Rally)
Q. What time should I arrive at the bus rally?
A. We expect to be able to receive and park vehicles from 9am; prior to that we’ll be busy dealing with stall holders. The rally is effectively open to the public from 10am, so if you can we’d like to see you by then but some will be traveling a long distance so we’ll be pleased to see you whatever time you arrive.
Q. Can our group park our buses together at the rally?
A. That shouldn’t be a problem - best way to achieve this would be to ensure you arrive together as we’ll generally park buses in the order that they arrive.
Q. Do I have to book my bus in or can I just turn up on the day?
A. You can turn up the day without booking in, but we would ask that you make the effort to book in if at all possible.
We would appreciate having a good idea of the expected number of vehicles attending so that we can be as prepared as possible to receive and park you with the minimum amount of fuss. Also, we can't list your vehicle on our Facebook page and this website unless we know its coming!
Bus Owners (Bus Services)
Q. What time should I arrive?
A. It very much depends on whether you’ve offered to help start up the bus station shuttle service or you are operating a feeder service. In any case please be aware that the bus station is restricted solely to buses that are either booked to drop off or pick up passengers. No other buses should enter the bus station at any time. Please be aware that there is a strict time limit on how long buses may occupy a stand for so please try to avoid arriving on stand earlier than booked. There is some limited parking available near to the bus station which I’ll advise you of in your joining instructions if appropriate.
It may well be appropriate to go to and park up at the Barleylands rally site first, especially if you need to offer your vehicle for service as our bus service controller will be located at Barleylands.
Q. Will you be making fuel payments to drivers/owners?
As stated above, the event already costs a lot of money to put on. Our only income is from the sales stall pitch fees and the walk in entrance charge; fuel payments would make the event unviable. In any case, although a donation towards fuel would not mean making a profit, making a payment could be interpreted by the likes of VOSA as operating a hire & reward service (payment made in return for services provided). The spirit of the law, and indeed insurance policies, require that buses operate entirely for free (no payment or donation of any kind) and that is the position Essex Bus Rally supports. This is why our pick up and drop off bus stop is located outside the paid area’s of the site. Owners/drivers should therefore offer their vehicles with this in mind.
Q. Do I have to book my bus in or can I just turn up on the day?
A. We would appreciate it if owners willing to run trips could make this known to us at the earliest opportunity so that we can fulfill our published timetables ahead of the day. This not only helps us run a smoother operation but it means we can share the details with enthusiasts that may be looking to target particular vehicles. It will of course be possible to offer your bus for service upon arrival or during the day. Priority will be given on a first come first served basis.
Q. I want to operate my bus in service; are there any restrictions I need to be aware of?
A. Whilst we’re happy to accept offers involving buses or coaches from any area or era, First Essex have stipulated that rear platform vehicles cannot operate within Basildon bus station. We have an additional service to Wickford rail station this year so that owners of rear platform vehicles have an opportunity to operate their vehicles in service.
Q. I want to operate my bus in service; do I have to complete a minimum number of trips?
A. The choice of how much you do is entirely yours.
Q. I’m planning to operate a feeder service; are there any restrictions I need to be aware of?
A. If you intend to run a feeder service please advise us of your plans via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important to note that that there is a departure charge levied by First Essex for each use of the bus station along with very particular health & safety requirements that we’ve had to agree compliance with, so if you are planning to use the bus station as part of a feeder service you must let us know first to avoid any issues!
(please note that Essex Bus Rally will take care of any charges levied and they will not be passed on to individual drivers)
Please be aware that rear platform buses are not allowed in Basildon bus station.
Q. Do you have any maps of the routes as I’m not fully familiar with the area?
A. Yes - you can find them here on the website by CLICKING HERE. Maps will be also be available on the day.
Sales Stall Holders
Q. Do I have to book a place in advance?
A. Yes, it is absolutely essential that you complete a booking form and return it to us with your payment in order to secure your pitch. Please email if you’d like a booking form.
**cut off point is Friday 5th June 2020 **
Q. How much are your sales pitches?
A. Prices vary depending on the pitch size - please email
Q. Is the pitch fee refundable?
A. Unfortunately the pitch fee isn’t refundable. The fee that stall holders pay goes towards non refundable items like site hire, toilets, advertising, etc.
Q. Will your public liability insurance cover my stall?
A. No, our public liability insurance policy specifically excludes traders. You must arrange your own public liability insurance cover as this is a condition of our hire agreement with Barleylands. It is also a condition of our hire agreement with Barleylands that all electrical equipment is correctly PAT tested.
Q. What time should I arrive on the day?
A. You can arrive from 7.30am. Please try to avoid arriving earlier as we need to have the site ready to receive you. You should be ready to trade by 10am.
Q. Do you supply tables?
A. No. You will need to supply everything you need for your stall yourself.
Q. Is your sales area undercover?
A. No. Sales stalls will be outside so you may need to ensure you have appropriate weather protection available to protect your stock.
Q. Can I park my vehicle alongside my stall?
A. Yes. You can park vehicle behind your stall.
However, should the weather in the week leading up to the rally render the rally field unusable, we may need to implement alternative arrangements - in this instance it will not be possible to park your vehicle adjacent to your stall due to space constraints.
Q. Is mains electricity and water available?
**water taps are present on the rally field but these are not to be used as they are not a drinking water supply**