A BUS user has warned proposed changes to a key service connecting Shoebury, Southend and Rayleigh will be a “nightmare”.

Arriva has announced they will be making changes to route one by splitting it into two new routes to tackle concerns over punctuality.

Route One will become the bus from Southend City Travel Centre to Rayleigh Station, and Route Two will become Southend City Travel Centre to Shoebury.

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The change will kick in from Sunday, July 24, and bosses say they hope this will help improve the reliability of the services.

Wheelchair user, Nicola Burbidge, 57, makes the journey from her hometown of Shoebury to Leigh for regular health appointments.

Due to the changes, she will now have to get two buses each way instead of one, making life even harder for her as a wheelchair user.

She said: “It is a pain, as my wheelchair is already too wide to fit straight through the bus, so I have to try and walk on, and off which is painful and dangerous.

“I have fallen many times before trying to get off.

“That was with just one bus journey each way, now it is even more.

“It will be so much harder, and I am already very nervous about it.

“It is a nightmare.”

Another resident, Julie Harris, 55, is feeling more positive about the changes.

She said: “I feel that by making this change it will allow Shoebury to have no buses cut, as the Shoebury route often gets left out.

“I know there has been some negativity, but once it is up and running, hopefully everyone will be happier.

“People just need to give it a chance.”

A spokesman for Arriva said: “Delays anywhere on the current service affect the whole service, so someone waiting for a bus in Shoebury could have their bus late because of traffic in Hadleigh.

“In terms of what we hope to achieve, it is a step change improvement to the reliability of the service.”