A BUS operator has announced plans to close its Braintree depot.

First Essex wants to move its operation to sites in Chelmsford and Colchester from November 1.

The company said there will be no forced redundancies following the move and First will continue to run local services from a new out-station facility.

Other routes will be served from its Chelmsford and Colchester depots.

Employees at Braintree will be able to transfer to either the Chelmsford depot or First’s new £3.3m facility at Colchester, which is set to open in the next few weeks.

Managing director Alex Jones said: “I am pleased that we are in a position to protect jobs and provide our employees with working environments at Chelmsford and Colchester that their hard work, talent and commitment deserve.

“As part of our proposals, we’re carefully reviewing bus services that operate from our Braintree depot. I can assure our customers that we will continue to operate buses where there is sufficient demand from customers.”