Despite news that a vital "life-line" bus route will no longer be cancelled, a campaigner has vowed to keep fighting for the service to be improved.

Yesterday (April 7), it was announced that the 505 bus route between Chingford and Harlow via Waltham Abbey will no longer stop running on May 9.

The route had been due to stop running after bus operator Arriva announced it was running at a loss, but yesterday it was announced that Trustybus will take over the route on May 11.

A full timetable is not yet available, but Trustybus will run a reduced service of six times a day in both directions, with no services on Sunday and an unlimited daily ticket costing £5.

Campaigner and Green Party council candidate Dave Plummer recently started a petition to keep the 505 running, and he said the announcement was not enough.

He said: “Six services a day is not a lot, is it?

“Yes, obviously it is good news that there will be a service, but it will still leave people waiting potentially hours to get to the hospital.

“It is good that there will be a service but obviously it would be much, much better if it was maintained because people rely on it.

“It is not just people going to college or hospital.

“The position is we want them to maintain the same service or better.”

Saturday services will be subsidised by Essex County Council after Trustybus said it could only operate five days a week.

District councillor Elizabeth Webster claimed the announcement is good news for Waltham Abbey.

She said: “They claimed people do not use it during the daytime but it is so needed.

“It is a life-line in Waltham Abbey, it is our only link with Chingford and Harlow.”

She added: “Every part of Waltham Abbey would have been affected.

“I am absolutely thrilled to bits.

“We have still got to try and negotiate a better service during the day, but let’s take it a day at a time.”

However, a spokesman for Trustybus said the reduced service was in response to problems with Arriva’s operation, which could not be sustained by the number of passengers using it.  

He said: “[The route] is important and we can actually see where it has gone wrong in the past.

“There were not enough people using it for two services in the morning.

"That is basically why we have put on one, which obviously reduces the costs and hopefully makes it viable.”