A BASILDON bus service will be shut down ‘temporarily’ from the end of the month as the provider battles with staff shortages.

First Busses, which operates the X10 bus is suspending the service between Basildon and Chelmsford from October 31.

The bus route, which connects Basildon with Stansted Airport, is being closed as the operator shifts drivers and staff onto higher demand services at other locations as the firm struggles with staff shortages.

Basildon councillor Kerry Smith has urged the company to reinstate the service as soon as possible, as it provides a vital service for many in the town

“A lot of people use Stansted Airport for cut price flight and cheaper holidays which are great for younger people, or people on low incomes and the bus service is the only affordable way to get there,” he aid.

“Many people can’t afford to drive to the airport, let along pay to park there. It does make you laugh how much the airport charges for long-stay parking, it’s just not realistic for most.”

First Busses has not confirmed how long the route will be suspended for but insists it is only a temporary measure and will be reopened when labour shortages are addressed.

The combined effects of the pandemic and Brexit have left many sectors struggling to employ sufficient staffing, with transport, hospitality, health care, emergency service, and agriculture bosses warning of a tough winter ahead.

Julian Elliott, Commercial Manager at First Essex said;” From October 31 our X10 service between Basildon and Chelmsford will be ‘temporarily suspended’ due to low demand. Customers wishing to travel by bus between these locations can use the following services: From Basildon, people can travel on our 100 service and people travelling from Wickford can travel on our services 13/14.

“We apologise for any inconvenience to the minority of customers presently using the X10 service, but to clarify this is only a ‘temporary suspension’ of the service whilst we address the driver shortage situation and meet higher service demands in other locations”