Essex County Council is carrying out a public consultation on a major bus service in Witham town centre.

The council is considering withdrawing the number 39 service, which is operated by Stephenson’s on a commercial basis, as the journey is failing to meet cost per passenger requirements.

The number 39 and 40 services are the only two bus routes which serve just the town centre area.

The consultation began on September 23 and will last six weeks, finishing on November 4.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “The main part of bus service 39 is operated by Stephensons of Essex.

“However, Essex County Council currently provides financial support to some journeys on service 39.

“The journeys effected include early morning services which run Monday to Friday between 6.32am and 7.47am and evening services from 18.19 to 19.38.

“Some services across Saturday are also included in the journeys funded by Essex County Council.

“It is these journeys that we are consulting over because the cost to fund these journeys is exceeding our cost per passenger journey criteria, and therefore are being considered for withdrawal at the end of the contract term in July 2020.”

Essex County Council will gather all the responses from the survey and produce a report.

The report will be used to help decide whether the proposal should be implemented or if any changes are needed to the service.

The council said no decisions will be made until after the consultation is complete.

Essex County Council is encouraging users of the service to submit their comments.

To make a comment or obtain a hard copy of the consultation from the bus operator, go to