Updated on May 3, 2018
FIRST ESSEX ANNOUNCES PROPOSAL TO CLOSE
CLACTON BUS DEPOT and DISCONTINUE RUNNING SOME LOCAL BUS SERVICES
Bus operator, First Essex, has announced proposals to close its operating base in Clacton and discontinue running local bus services numbers:
2 Clacton – Mistley via Weeley
3 Harwich – Clacton via Thorpe-le-Soken
4 Clacton – Jaywick – Burrsville Circular
4a Clacton – Jaywick – Bockings Elm Circular
5 Clacton – Flatford Drive via Coopers Lane & Tyler Avenue
5a Clacton – Flatford Avenue via Coopers Lane & Saxstead Drive
6 Clacton – Point Clear via Bockings Elm & St Osyth
Services between Clacton and Colchester, and between Clacton and Walton on the Naze will continue to be operated by First Essex, seven days per week.
First Essex has said that its bus operation in Clacton has not been viable for several years.
Despite working hard to turn the business around, there has been insufficient passenger demand to use the network of bus services that are in place. The continuing challenging economy has also been a factor to First Essex’s proposed withdrawal.
Steve Wickers, Managing Director of First Essex. said: “I’m disappointed that we are proposing to withdraw services in Clacton, but regrettably, we see no alternative. Despite our best efforts and hard work to encourage people to use the service network in the town, customers have declined gradually over the last couple of years.
“Unfortunately, the level of demand is not enough to warrant a stand-alone bus operation in Clacton.
“We are proposing to continue running services as normal, however, we are engaging with Essex County Council on the future of bus services in the area. Given the volume of other bus operators that operate in and around Clacton, I’m confident that customers shouldn’t be left without a service.”
In line with the proposed closure of the Clacton business, First Essex has started the collective consultation process with trade unions on the possibility of redundancies, which could involve around 60 jobs being at risk.
Steve Wickers added: “Our proposals do not, in any way, reflect on the commitment of our colleagues in Clacton who have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible service to the local community. I’d like to thank each, and every one, for their hard work and loyalty.
“We will be doing everything we can to assist everyone affected and will actively support any of our employees who may wish to transfer to other First Bus operations.”
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FirstGroup plc is one of the leading transport operator in the UK and North America and our services help to create strong, vibrant and sustainable local economies. During the last year around 2 billion people relied on us to get to work, to education, to visit family and friends and much more and, each day, every one of our 100,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for our passengers.
FirstGroup is one of Britain’s largest bus operators with around a fifth of bus services outside London. A fleet of some 6,000 buses carries approximately 1.6 million passengers a day in a huge number of communities including eight of the 11 most densely populated towns and cities in the UK. We operate some US-style yellow school buses and have a fleet of coaches available for charter. We also operate the Air coach network in Ireland.
Our Essex business operates buses in the areas of Chelmsford, Basildon, Brentwood, Clacton, Colchester, Southend, Rayleigh and Canvey Island. We operate a fleet of 360 buses across the area, employing 995 staff. For more information, see our website at: www.firstgroup.com/essex you can also follow us on twitter @FirstEssex and Facebook at First Essex Buses.
Our vision is to provide solutions for an increasingly congested world, keeping people moving and communities prospering.