A PENSIONER suffering from a rare disease has been left unable to get to Colchester after First Bus re-routed one of its main services. 

Ann Booty, who is 71 and is fighting aplastic anaemia, says she has been virtually stranded in her housing estate near Marks Tey having previously relied on the 370 bus service – which regularly ran into Colchester – to get into town.

But since First Bus re-routed its 370 service, Mrs Booty, of Hawlmark End, is having to dice with death by crossing the A120 whilst using a mobility walker so she can catch the new X20 service.

Mrs Booty claims there had not been a consultation about the decision to discontinue the service, which previously entered the estate at Ashbury Drive before making its way round the estate onto Wilson’s Lane and Godman’s Lane before heading to Colchester.

She said: “On July 23, the new system came in – the 370 bus seems to have gone altogether.

“The other buses run along the A120, which is bad at the best of times, and to get to the bus stop, I have to go across the road and I really don’t feel safe doing that because I can’t walk very fast.”

Mrs Booty added the returning bus is safer as it does not involve her having to cross back over the A120, but said that doesn’t resolve the problem of her being unable to get transport into Colchester.

She said: “I am now allowed to drive [since the aplastic anaemia diagnosis] but I’m not a confident driver and since I’ve been ill, I’ve lost my nerve a bit more.”

She continued: “I bank with Metro, and they have a branch in Colchester High Street, but I can’t actually get in to cash in any cheques at the bank.

“Suddenly, the rug has been pulled from underneath my feet.”

First Bus was given more than 24 hours to provide a response but none was given by the time of going to press.