A TRAVEL company which serves schools in the Colchester area is cutting one of its buses saying it is not financially viable.

New Horizon Travel transports children to the Colne Community School and College, Philip Morant School, St Benedict’s Catholic College, Colchester County High School for Girls and St Mary’s School.

Parents of children at Philip Morant School in Rembrandt Way, Colchester, have received a letter saying the number 177 service to the school is being cut.

The letter said: “With effect from December 31 we will no longer be running the 177 bus service.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly but unfortunately we find this no longer financially viable.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for travelling with us and hope you can source an alternative operator.”

However, parents have said this leaves their children high and dry.

Mandie Holgate’s daughter, Sophie, goes to Philip Morant School and College.

She uses the service and Mandie and her husband, who live on Mersea Island, have to pay £230 per term.

Mandie said: “We’ve been given three weeks notice.

“However, us parents pay for it and we were never consulted.

“The bus is usually full and First, who supply the other buses, said they would not be able to cope with the additional influx of children.

“I don’t know how I will cope and with the big push to raise attendance figures that’s 50 children who will be late every day because other services don’t reach Colchester.”

Mandie has contacted New Horizon but says they have ignored her emails.

A spokesman for New Horizon said the service was no longer financially viable due to a drop in the number of children using it.

She said: “We have propped this service up for the past three years. We used to have a double decker bus as we had 70 children registered with bus passes.

“This term there was 28 children with bus passes. This was a business decision and we have to discontinue it.

“We have informed the schools.”