PUPILS forced to wait more than an hour to get the bus home from school could be set to benefit from a new bus timetable.

The 92 bus route, which serves Philip Morant School, in Rembrandt Way, Colchester, has been criticised as its timetable does not fit in with the school day despite being the only suitable route for some pupils travelling from Birch.

Following conversations between the managing director of Hedingham, which operates the service on behalf of Essex County Council, and County Hall bosses, the timetable will now be reviewed.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The 92 service is operated by Hedingham with financial support from Essex County Council. We have discussed with them the issues with its timetable, and they have agreed to review this with a view to resolving them.

“There are challenges around driver resource which mean this change may not be able to be implemented straight away, but we are working with the operator to find a solution as soon as possible.”

Gazette: Discussions - Dame Priti Patel met with Hedingham's managing director Gavin SmithDiscussions - Dame Priti Patel met with Hedingham's managing director Gavin Smith (Image: Stuart Gulleford)

The bus company also recently came under fire after raising the cost of a school bus pass by more than £200 a year for pupils travelling from Tollesbury to Plume Academy, Maldon, on its 95A service.

Witham MP Dame Priti Patel met with the firm’s managing director Gavin Smith last week to discuss the concerns of parents with children at both schools.

Following the meeting, she said: “I completely understand the concerns parents have about Hedingham buses because of the substantial increase in the cost of bus passes, and the impact this is having on families across my constituency.

“Local authority services should be doing more to ensure that children can afford to travel to school and that their parents are not penalised by which school they choose for their children.

“I urge Mr Smith and Essex County Council to urgently resolve the issue the timetable poses for students before September and I look forward to engaging further with both Mr Smith and the council on this important issue.”

The county council reiterated decisions regarding fares for commercial services, like the bus serving Plume Academy, are the responsibility of the bus operator.