A CONSULTATION could see some bus services in Braintree and Halstead axed.

Essex County Council has launched a consultation on whether to remove bus services that, according to their providers, are deemed no longer financially viable.

The evening number 352 service from Chelmsford to Halstead after 10.45pm is among the threatened services, along with the number 21 Bocking to Black Notley service.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “We know buses are important to many people.

“They help people reach school, college and work, to shop, go out and visit friends and to get to health appointments.

“As is the case in most of England outside London, the majority of the bus network in Essex – around 85 per cent – is run commercially.

“Commercial bus services do not form part of this review – this includes most of the daytime and peak period services in and between towns.

“The remaining 15 per cent of services are not commercially viable and the commercial bus operators will not therefore run them.”

Service across the county are being proposed for closure by a range of providers including First, Arriva, Hedingham and Stephensons.

The consultation will include dozens of Sunday and weekday evening services, all funded by the council.

The spokesman added: “Only the council-funded elements of any services are affected – where elements of services are run commercially these are not part of the consultation.

“There are also two evening services that exceed £5 cost per passenger journey, the level above which Essex County Council would not normally support.

“Therefore we are proposing to withdraw those two services.”

The council said it had to consider withdrawing services due to the “strong financial pressure” all local authorities are under.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday, March 22.

To find out more, visit essexinsight.org.uk.