A TEENAGER was repeatedly late for college as his bus consistently failed to turn up on time.

Jake Turner, 16, decided to leave Thurstable School in Tiptree and attend Colchester Sixth Form College after taking his GCSEs. However, due to unreliable buses his family are now having second thoughts about the decision.

He started college on September 3 catching the 75 First bus at 7.59am from the New Times in Maldon Road, Tiptree, to Colchester.

His mum Julie said: “That day the bus was 12 minutes late and overcrowded.

“The next day the bus was nearly 30 minutes late which made him late for college on his second day. That evening, the bus was over 30 minutes late leaving Colchester and when it finally arrived, it was full so the driver drove straight past my son and the other waiting children.”

Julie called First and complained. She said: “I wasn’t after compensation, all I wanted was fairness and another bus put on. We have paid almost £1,000 for our son’s annual bus pass.

“Only providing one bus at this peak time is not sufficient. I have since found out this bus is usually full by the time it leaves Great Totham.

“The earlier one is at 7.33am which would mean an early start and the one after is 8.34am which is too late.”

The rest of the week continued the same way but then got worse. Julie said: “On September 9 my son was waiting in the pouring rain.

“When the bus finally arrived it drove straight past him. He was so distressed at being late for college again that my husband who was working from home drove him in.”

Another two complaints were lodged and although Julie said staff were helpful, it was discovered her first complaint had been closed.

She found other parents on social media were complaining about the same bus.

She said: “I feel totally let down by First. It is obvious they simply do not care. There needs to be an extra bus for Tiptree at peak times. We pay a lot of money for this service and we deserve better.”

She contacted Witham MP Priti Patel who said she was “extremely concerned about the poor service” and has urged the company to take action as a matter of priority.

Steve Hartman, operations manager at First Colchester, said: “I am concerned to hear the dissatisfaction raised by one of our customers.“We have been monitoring this particular service, as there has been a considerable increase in people using it at around 7.15am.

“We have run additional buses on some days, whilst we evaluate the necessary requirement before making the appropriate changes to ensure people are not inconvenienced when trying to use the service going forward.

“Unfortunately this is not a process we can resolve quickly, due to the legal implications we have to adhere to when registering a service change.

“I will also be inviting the customer to a meeting where we can discuss the matter further and apologise for the inconvenience caused in not delivering a satisfactory service at this time.”