COMMUTERS feel like they have been “hung out to dry” by the cancellation of a vital bus route which connects them to a train station.

The First Buses 21X service, from Eastern Esplanade, Canvey, to Benfleet railway station will be cancelled from January 8.

First Buses claim the route was severely underused, but commuters have spoken out in support of the route, with fears that cancellation could add a significant chunk of time to their daily travel into London.

Tina McGuiness, 54, of Weel Road, who works in London as an administrator, said: “I have been using this bus route every day for over 11 years, and they have already drastically cut back the service.

“I have been doing a count the last few days, and there were 30 people on the bus Monday morning at 7.15am, and on Tuesday there were 24.

“I live right next to the last stop, and they are saying they expect us to walk into the town centre, that will take an extra half hour, it is too much every single morning and night.

“The service is supposed to be convenient for commuters.

“Not everyone can rely on someone to give them a lift every day.”

A spokesman for First Essex said; ”Canvey and Benfleet is served by a group of bus services including 21, 21A and 21B with some additional peak time journeys including four in the morning and eight in the afternoon that are run as 21X journeys.

“Due to very few people using the 21X journeys, these are being withdrawn from January 8, with the 21, 21A and 21B being revised slightly to accommodate the change for people living in the Furtherwick Road, Thorney Bay Road, Canvey Village and Benfleet Station areas.

“For customers who currently board service 21X towards the Labworth Park end of the Esplanade, we recommend that the revised services 21 and 21A serving Furtherwick Road are used as an alternative.”