TWENTY-five people have lost their jobs after a tour operator withdrew a popular open-top bus service due to ‘whining’ from local residents.

The Jurassic Mule, operated by Mendip Mule Motorbus Company, made its last journey on Sunday.

The open-top bus tour service, introduced in 2015, travelled between Beer, Colyton and Seaton, in Devon, and Lyme Regis and Charmouth and was popular amongst tourists who used it to hop on and off while visiting local attractions along the Jurassic Coast.

The service has carried more than 20,000 passengers this year, bringing a much-needed boost to the local economy.

Owner Derek Gawn says he has took the decision to axe the service after his staff were subjected to verbal abuse from residents in the Seaton and Colyton area.

He said: “I have finally made my mind up about the Mule, and the final nails were not mechanical issues or the weather.

“It’s the continual whining of a few in Seaton and Colyton.

“I do realise that 99 per cent of people do support us, but I can no longer cope with the one per cent.

“The bus park is provided by East Devon District Council for buses and coaches to use on a pay and display based ticketing arrangement.

“It isn’t for the bus drivers to be shouted at by residents who don’t welcome the facility.

“We no longer wish to subject our staff to such behaviour from a small minority of locals.”

Mr Gawn claims that some residents would deliberately park in a way that prevented the bus from passing through, actions he says ‘are not a particularly good welcome for the much-needed tourists bringing their spending to the town.’

Mr Gawn said: “We’d like to thank all of our supporters across the route, who have made us welcome and accept a very small minority has brought this decision to withdraw our service. We apologise to all of our supporters and passengers for the sudden withdrawal of service.”