VILLAGERS are up in arms amidst fears the only bus serving their village could be axed in under six weeks.

People living in Peldon said they are yet to be consulted by operator First Essex about the potential re-routing of the 67A service.

The bus is the only link to school, work and health services in Colchester and Mersea for many villagers.

And Clare Lauwerys, who has lived in Peldon for 18 years, said some people would be completely cut off if the change goes ahead.

She explained: “You often see the older people in the village walking up and down the road to the shelter with their shopping bags.

“We don’t have a shop here and they rely on the bus to get out. What would they do without it?”

After crossing the Strood, the 67A currently stops at the Peldon Rose Inn restaurant before heading towards the bus shelter in the centre of the village.

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However, the possible change could see the bus stop at the restaurant and then continue towards Abberton - skipping the centre of Peldon.

Mrs Lauwerys said: “Getting to the bus stop at the Rose is about a two and half mile walk along a road with no footpath.

“There’s a 60 mph speed limit along there too so to think you can walk along there is just ridiculous.”

The mother-of-two said she was worried about the impact on youngsters in the village who couldn’t drive.

She also explained residents were still waiting to be consulted by First Essex about the potential new route.

She said: “We’ve heard nothing from First whatsoever, the first we heard about it was from the drivers who have been telling passengers.”

Veteran Colchester councillor and Peldon farmer Robert Davidson said a route change would lead to a bizarre scenario.

He explained: “When the tide comes in and covers the Strood to Mersea Island the buses will park up or terminate in the village to avoid the traffic.

“That means you could have a situation where they’re sat at the bus shelter but not actually picking anyone up.

“It seems like an idea which has been thought of by an accountant in an office with no idea of the circumstances.”

A spokesperson for First Essex said: “We have a number of changes planned for our services from February 18 which will include timetable revisions, route changes and in some areas the withdrawal of services due to low patronage.

“We will be communicating what these changes will be over the next week or so, after we have concluded discussions with Essex County Council.

“It would be unfair to worry people about the proposed changes at this early stage as circumstances may change through discussion that could influence the eventual outcome of what is being planned.”