Fears have been raised that elderly people could become isolated after a bus company announced it would cease trading.

The Echo can reveal that Regal Busways will no longer operate as of December 31, leaving the future of a number of their routes across Basildon, Castle Point and Southend unresolved.

As a result, the company will stop operating all of their services, including some contracted by Essex County Council contracted services.

A total of seven routes will be stopped, including the 104/106 service from Langdon Hills to Basildon, which residents fear will leave the elderly community isolated.

Kerry Smith, county councillor for Westley Heights in Basildon, said: “I have been contacted by two old age pensioners, and they are both devastated.

“It is hugely concerning to hear about residents basically being cut off by a lack of public transport.

“These two use the bus service a number of times a week, and say it is always busy, but it is a lifeline for them.

“Are they supposed to rely on lifts from family, or pay out for a cab every time they want to go anywhere.

“Or are we asking them to walk during the cold winter?

“If you cannot get a bus into town, then you are stuffed, how will they get to the hospital or to appointments?”

A recent review of the service saw the withdrawal of the number one route, from Canvey to Writtle, the B2 from Shoebury to Festival Leisure Park and the number three from Southend to Chelmsford.

The number one and B2 will no longer run on December 22 and number three on December 23.

While a final date has yet to be released, the 104/106 from Langdon Hills to Basildon, passing through Laindon, will cease operation by the time the company stops operating after Christmas.

County councillor Ray Gooding, responsible for passenger transport, said: “We are aware of the commercial decision by Regal Busways Ltd to stop operating services after Christmas.

“Officers at Essex County Council are working hard with Regal and other operators to help reduce the impact of this withdrawal on the travelling public.

“We will update the public as soon as we have any more information on the future running of these services.”

A statement on the Regal Busways website said: “We have worked hard over the years to ensure that services have remained financially viable, however they now require long term investment, which we are unable to accommodate.

“Thank you to all of the customers that have supported these services and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.” Regal Busways failed to respond to the Echo’s request for comment.