A BUS company has been given a formal warning by licence bosses over its sloppy punctuality.

First Essex Buses was held to account at a public inquiry led by the Traffic Commissioner.

Poor punctuality, frequent breakdowns, irregular services and missing buses were among the litany of complaints directed at the national company.

First Essex had faced losing its licence to operate routes across the county altogether.

A First spokesman said: “We’re pleased with the Traffic Commissioner’s findings and we are determined to improve services in the area.

“The public inquiry was an opportunity for us to explain in detail the circumstances behind punctuality issues on our services from last year."