CHILDREN have been left stranded trying to get to and from school after '15 buses' have been removed from service, reports state.

An Arriva bus driver in Southend told the Echo that after faults were discovered on the buses, 15 have been sent to the depot for repair, causing children to be left at the side of the road whilst attempting to get to school.

It has also emerged that Unite, a trade union, had to step in to persuade Arriva to repair the buses, as the warning lights "had been there for years.". However, this is yet to be confirmed.

The driver, who is also a dad of one of the children, stated that his child was hours late for school and was home two hours after school finished. The 35-year-old, dad of five, said: "My daughter was just left at a bus stop in the pouring rain after the bus just drove past her.

"She got home at 5, after finishing school at half past three. She had to walk half the distance then catch another bus.

"15 buses have been pulled and this has really impacted the services.

"It's only been going on this week, but it's made a huge difference.

"The drivers are just sitting around doing nothing. We're working 11 hour shifts but sitting around for six hours of it."

A spokesman from Arriva confirmed that buses had been removed from services in Southend. They said: "We can confirm that a number of our buses experienced minor faults earlier this week, which impacted a number of services.

"The depot team has been working tirelessly to ensure that these issues are now resolved and the buses are able to serve our customers."

Southend Council and Unite the Union were contacted for a statement.