PASSENGERS are worried a planned shake-up to bus routes will leave them with a reduced service Bus firm Arriva wants to make changes to the 1, 7 and 8 services between Southend, Rochford, Rayleigh and Shoebury.

John Wheeler, 60, of Devon Gardens, Rochford, fears the number 8 bus, which runs from Spa Road, Hockley, to Southend Victoria station, via Rochford may be cut from two buses an hour to one He said: “If they reduce the bus service, it will put more people into cars.

“When you get on the bus in Magnolia Road, it’s standing room only, so it’s not exactly under-used.”

Richard Lewis, Arriva’s marketing manager, said: “We are reviewing a number of our services in the Southend area. We want to establish whether changes need to be made where services are not being used sufficiently to enable us to continue the present level of service.

“We are still in discussion with residents’ groups and local councils, and we have not yet made any final decisions about any changes we might wish to make.”

Mr Lewis said Arriva was looking at bringing services to areas which currently had no buses and of increasing some services on well-used routes.

From September 14, low-floor easy-access buses will replace the older double-deckers on the number 1 service between Shoebury, Southend and Rayleigh.