Campaigners are calling for a meeting with Transport for London (TfL) officials after dozens of passengers including elderly people and children were “kicked off” a bus.

Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAC) said around 50 commuters were ordered to disembark the Number 20 bus at Homebase in Church Hill, Loughton, on Thursday, September 13, as the service had terminated early.

Despite the fact that there were 14 stops remaining on the route, which runs between Walthamstow Bus Station and Debden’s Burton Road, the driver turned around and left the passengers stranded at the bus stop.

Dave Plummer, chairman of EFTAC said: “People rely on these bus services to go to work, to education, to head to health and social activities, and it’s really not reasonable to kick people off the bus.

“It can have a major impact on people’s lives.

“In situations like this, it will have an impact on elderly people and disabled people.”

Chris Pond, councillor for Loughton Broadway ward, who is a “very frequent user” of the Number 20 bus, said the latest incident is one of many problems blighting the popular service.

He said people living in the area have told him about buses arriving late, presumed to be due to delays in Walthamstow, and drivers not sticking to the correct route.

Although he has received “sporadic complaints” about the route over the last few years, he said now is the time for action as the winter months are fast approaching.

Cllr Pond said: “I have had several complaints from an ex-councillor and from ordinary members of the public saying that the bus driver told them to get off at Homebase.

“They just said what a nuisance it was. They complained partly about the bus driver.

“He told them there would be another bus directly behind but there was a 15 minute gap.

“In the past it has been that people have been chucked out at Loughton station, whereas the bus stop Homebase is not indoors.

“It’s quite improper to expect elderly folks, schoolchildren and vulnerable people to walk a mile to the end of the route.”

A spokesman for TfL said: “We’re concerned to hear that some of our customers have had issues with the route 20.

“We regularly monitor the performance of our bus network and would happily meet the Epping Forest Transport Action Group to see how we can better address their concerns.”

Cllr Pond also questioned why commuters were not warned about road works in Loughton’s Chester Road, which began this week, which have forced the bus to take a diversion, missing out on four stops.

He called for Essex Highways and TfL to introduce a new communications system which would require them to liaise with each other about changes to bus routes.

Cllr Pond believes the needs of commuters in Essex are being put behind those of bus users in Waltham Forest, where he says the Number 20 bus runs rather smoothly.

“They always cut the route short in Loughton and Debden and never in Walthamstow or Leyton and that seems to me perverse because there are always lots of bus routes between Whipps Cross and Leyton but there’s only the one out here,” he added.

“It has inconvenienced my constituents.

“One man complained to me that he was coming back home on a Thursday evening from Walthamstow to Loughton and there was nearly an hour’s gap in between services.”

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Unfortunately, Transport for London were not informed via email on this particular occasion.

“We are working to improve liaison with bus operators to provide advanced information of road closures so the appropriate diversions can be made.

“We already publish all our road closures on and anyone can sign up to receive alerts for the areas they are interested in.

At present, works along Chester Road, Loughton are due to complete by Friday 21 September.”