A COMMUNITY claim they have been left isolated after the only bus service within two miles was cancelled.

The Dome Village park mobile home site on Lower Road, Hockley, is home to residents over the age of 50, many of who do not drive.

The number 22 bus, provided by First Bus, would stop right outside the park and enabled residents to go into town, either in Hullbridge or Rayleigh, to go shopping or pay bills.

Since First Bus decided to cut the service, residents say they are stuck and are running out of options on where to turn.

Lorraine Brown, secretary of the Dome Village Qualified Residents Association, said: “We are now a very isolated and neglected community.

“Some of our residents are in ill health just as you would expect of an ageing population.

“If we need to go for blood tests or check ups we need to attend the main surgery at Ashingdon, but for those of us who don’t drive this incurs a cost in excess of £22 to get a taxi there and back.

“Hospital appointments incur taxi costs of in excess of £42 there and back.”

The residents of the park have been campaigning for the return of the 22 bus service for the last two years since setting up the park’s residents’ association.

They praised the help and support of Hullbridge Parish Council, who even replaced the bus stop several years ago after it was destroyed in an arson attack.

However, the bus stop now stands unused following the annulment of the number 22.

Lorraine added: “There was an Asda bus call here once a week but this too has been stopped.

“Our site used to have a small shop run by the site owners and a Post Office which have closed down.

“There was also a fruit and veg van which would call weekly but again, this has stopped too, and so has the mobile library.

“For roughly two miles either side of The Dome entrance, which is on a bend, there are no pavements. It seems whatever we try, we are refused on the grounds of money, budgets and cutbacks.”

First Bus commercial manager Julian Elliott said; ” It has been many years since we ran a service to the area as it was withdrawn due to very little demand from people wanting to use it. We have no immediate plans to reintroduce a service to the village, but we will discuss the request with Essex County Council.”