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Council steps in to support 261 bus service

15 December 2016

A Brentwood bus route has been saved by Essex County Council as it looks to support the service becoming profitable once again.

The 261 between Brentwood and Blackmore is due to be removed from service on Friday 16 December after Amber Coaches announced it would not continue to run buses along this route.

Essex County Council has stepped in to help run the service from early in the new year after noting the importance it had for the local community.

Unfortunately, due to national registration requirements, the service cannot be brought in any earlier.

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “Officers have worked around the clock in a bid to find an operator to support this service and avoid any break in service. It is always right that we first seek a solution that doesn’t result in cost to the taxpayer or mean we have to look at reducing other routes.

“Unfortunately, no operator is yet willing to take on the service so we are stepping in to support it for the time being while we continue to seek a solution.

“I would like to invite the local community, who have made clear the importance of this service and been very vocal in their support, to turn that into real action to help us bring this service to at least a break-even point. I look forward to hearing their proposals and seeing the necessary growth in passenger numbers to support the service.

“We will financially support the service from the New Year, but it is vital the residents vote with their feet to show that this a well-used and much-loved service.

“We do not have unlimited budget to run bus services across Essex, I wish we did, so it is vital that residents get on the bus and make this service profitable so it can run for years to come.”

Essex County Council will announce the full timetable and start date online and through local media as soon as it has confirmation of the registration.