FAMILIES were ‘left stranded’ at a busy regatta as buses coming to pick them up were blocked by inconsiderately parked cars.

About 3,000 people visited the Rowhedge Regatta on Saturday, which is a day-long annual event.

The popular event went down a storm, however some families complained of being stranded in the evening as there were no buses available in the afternoon.

One elderly resident waited for an hour until 7.15pm for a bus back to her home in West Bergholt.

She had been waiting for the number 66 run by First.

She said: “The route the number 66 takes does not affect drivers as it was not the road that was closed.

“We waited until about 7.15pm and there were families with children and pushchairs.

“Gradually they all left but it was an absolute disaster, you would have thought there should be more buses on such a well-supported day.”

Regatta organisers warned families ahead of the event to avoid using their cars if they can, and use public transport instead.

They provided a list of bus times on their Facebook page.

Regatta chairwoman Emma Potter said: “I believe it only affected buses for an hour or so but it was due to inconsiderate parking in Rectory Road.

“We are responsible for the High Street and organised the road closure but we are not responsible for the whole village.

“It is something we will liaise with the council about so we can perhaps get traffic cones next year.”

A spokesman for First said some services had to be suspended for up to five hours because of cars being double-parked.

Steve Hartman, operations manager at First Colchester, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused with some bus journeys not running to the regatta on Saturday at Rowhedge.

“But due to inconsiderate parking along the bus route where in some locations cars were double parked, we had to suspend service as we were not able to access the roads.

“We did however resume full service after 9pm when the congested areas were cleared which allowed us access to Rowhedge.”