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.

Other sanctions it avoided included being forced to reduce the number of vehicles in operation, having the licence suspended, or a fine.