BUS routes on Canvey that had to be diverted due to multiple attacks by yobs will be returning form this evening.

First Bus was forced to divert three of its services which run through Benfleet and onto Canvey as people have been throwing rocks through windows as they drive by.

There were more than 12 attacks between Christmas and the end of February on the buses.

The company took action by diverting the routes away from the Manor Trading Estate in Benfleet and Somnes Avenue and Link Road on Canvey.

Now, following support from policing teams and the community, First Bus is set to trial the return of the normal routes, beginning with services this evening.

Dan Worley, Operations Manager at First Hadleigh, said: “I would like to thank our passengers and the local community for their support and patience whilst we have been dealing with the problems of anti-social behaviour in the area of Canvey.

“I am now pleased to announce that we will be trialling a return of services back to normal routes, once again serving Somnes Avenue, Link Road and the Manor Trading estate from Friday evening.”

Essex Police’s Castle Point and Rochford Policing Team have been sending officers out with the various bus services during the temporary diversion period.

Code named Operation Nimble and Operation Oakland, the teams conducted high visibility patrols on foot as well as working with First bus to protect staff and customers from offenders who have been targeting the buses.

During many of the attacks, buses have had windows smashed with rocks.

Mr Worley said if any violent incidents return on the routes, First will have no choice but to divert them again.

He added: “We will be monitoring the situation and working with the police to try and counteract any further disruption, but should we experience further incidents we will be forced to divert services away from the area to keep passengers and our staff safe.”

People can report any attacks or suspicious behaviour by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.