A complete ban on traffic in the High Street could drive up the price of public transport, bus bosses have warned.

Representing First Essex Buses at a meeting of Colchester Council’s policy and public initiatives panel Julian Elliot said the firm supported improvements, but buses needed to be included in the discussion.

He said: “We recognise the aspiration to make the town a great place to visit and promoting a strong economy is important.

“The area is congested and there are air quality issues too.

“But we feel it is important buses are able to maintain access. They carry a lot of people and get people to where they need to go.

“It is important to be able to reach the centre of the town to achieve that.

“If full pedestrianisation was to take place, it would complicate things and put some links at risk which has a knock-on effect on services and prices.

He added: “We urge that consideration is given to buses and they are able to continue to serve the High Street.

“If you banned cars form the High Street it could improve congestion, punctuality and accessibility but the whole thing needs to be look at further.”

At the meeting it was revealed a full transport plan for Colchester is being drawn up.