PASSENGERS have complained after a bus service to Brentwood was cancelled twice in a fortnight without any warning.

On both February 1 and 11, First Bus did not run the 6.33pm 551 service from Basildon bus station to Brentwood train station.

They also cancelled the 7.45pm service travelling back into Basildon from Brentwood, leaving passengers stranded and forced to pay extra money for alternative travel arrangements.

Committee members of the Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association have now demanded First Bus to compensate the travellers who had to find a new route home.

Richard Enever, rail officer for the group, said: “Some people had to either find another bus home, get to Billericay train station and travel to Shenfield or Brentwood and I one person ended up walking to Brentwood.

“This left people having to pay more money and take longer to get home, which is unacceptable.

“One person who contacted me had already paid £6 for a ticket on the bus, but then had to pay another £4.10 when she got to Billericay to catch the train.

“Not telling them the bus was not is wrong so we want people who were left stranded to be compensated and in the future that bus has to run.”

First Bus said the cancellations happened due to “unforseen staffing issues”.

A spokesman said: “We were able to rectify the problem by bringing in support staff from other depots, however, we would like to offer our apologies to any passengers who were affected by the cancellations.

“We endeavour to keep customers as updated as soon as possible through our Twitter and Customer Service outlets.

“It is hoped that the installation of updated Real Time systems in the Summer by Essex County Council, will offer another method of informing customers.”

Any passenger seeking a refund is advised to contact the customer services team at First Bus on 0845 602 0121.