CAMPAIGNERS who claim people have to turn down jobs due to the poor state of public transport have launched their own survey.

The newly formed Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAG) wants to determine the effect of public transport has on employment.

Nearly a quarter of people who have responded so far say public transport has made them leave or turn down a job in the last year.

Green Party member Dave Plummer said: “We've heard anecdotal stories about people having to turn down or leave jobs because they couldn't get there or back on public transport.

“If this happens a lot it could have a large effect on our local economy, for employers looking for staff, for people looking for work and, more widely, through benefits spending.

“The cuts to bus services and fare increases in Epping Forest will save money in the short term but could have wider economic and social impacts.”

The Epping Forest Green Party has also joined the campaign to scrap clause 21 from the Bus Services Bill, which is currently going through the House of Lords.

They say it would ban local authorities from setting up their own publicly run bus companies – leading to “overpriced and inadequate” services. Mr Plummer, who lives in Waltham Abbey, says 64 per cent of job seekers have no access to a car, meaning public transport is all the more important.

He added: “We need as many people as possible to complete the survey so that it can be truly representative of peoples' experiences, good or bad.”

The survey can be completed on EFTAG's website

Its first meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 14. Anyone wishing to attend should register on the website and the venue, in Loughton, will be announced at a later date.