Public transport campaigners fighting for a late night bus service have been told there is no cash.

The Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAG) has been calling on Essex County Council to subsidise a route from Waltham Cross to Loughton and Debden.

The proposed late-evening services would leave Waltham Cross at 10.15pm and 11.15pm, returning from Loughton at approximately 10.45pm and 11.45pm respectively.

Data collected by the group showed that over 9,000 journeys would be made annually on the 10.15pm and 11.15pm return services.

Despite the potentially high demand, the county council has said there is no money to replace the former 250 and 251 evening services, which ended in August 2017 leaving no buses running through Waltham Abbey after 9.15pm.

Dave Plummer, EFTAG's lead bus campaigner, said: "This will be a huge blow to people working locally in care homes, hospitality and shift workers, along with people returning from London and anybody who needs to travel around our towns during the night without driving or racking up taxi fares.

"Evidence provided by EFTAG and a local bus operator showed that there is a real need for these services and the subsidy would have come in at £1.43 per passenger journey, much lower than the County Council's £5 cap.'

"We appreciate that Essex County Council faces massive funding cuts and we're grateful for their time and support. We'll continue to work with them and hope we can find a way to subsidise these essential services."

Buses will be on the agenda at EFTAG's first Annual General Meeting in Loughton on Monday June 25.

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An Essex County Council spokesperson said “In Essex we invest significantly in local bus services and remain committed to supporting local people and communities. We will always support bus services where we can.

"Following a full assessment of the proposals for a late evening bus service from Waltham Cross to Loughton we are unfortunately in a position where the budget for services this year has already been fully allocated. While we are unable to move ahead with these proposals at this time we remain committed to keeping this position under review.”