The cancellation of a "well-used" bus service has left residents unable to travel to work, it has been claimed.

The number nine bus, which links Braintree to the villages of Great Bardfield, Finchingfield, Wethersfield, Shalford, Panfield and Bocking, ceased its Saturday service in August after Essex County Council withdrew funding.

Susan Cappi, of Meadow Close, Panfield, said her son, 18, and daughter, 21, do not drive and no longer have any way of getting to their workplaces at the weekends.

"My son is on minimum wage and so learning to drive is not an option for him," she said.

"He is reliant on the buses to get to work. There was a day when I was at work before Christmas and he had to ring and say he could not get in.

"He even offered to walk but that would have taken him hours."

The journey from Bell Lane, where the number nine bus used to stop on Saturdays, to Mrs Cappi's son's work at Freeport is four-and-a-half miles.

She said: "It always seemed to be a well-used service, although a lot of the people using it were elderly.

"I do not understand it, in today’s world when we are expecting people to use public transport more, to cancel a service and provide no alternative like this is crazy.

"My children need these jobs but if they cannot get to work what are they supposed to do?"

The route was one of four to get the chop after a consultation into services around Essex.

Ray Gooding, Essex County Councillor responsible for passenger transport, said: “Like all local authorities, we are facing strong financial pressures and have to think very carefully about how we deliver the best value for the taxpayer.

“Our review of bus services is on-going and we are taking a consistent approach to reshaping the county’s bus network to ensure subsidised routes do not cost the taxpayer more than £5 for each trip made.

“This includes looking at innovative solutions in rural areas, such as demand responsive transport, which offers a more flexible and sustainable service that can be booked in advance.”

Demand responsive transport system is flexible, non-timetabled minibuses which can be booked to pick-up and drop-off customers.