Communities have been left shocked and outraged by the news they will be losing their bus service - with no consultation and barely a week’s notice.

The move by First has been condemned by residents and politicians who learnt this week that the new timetable for the No 40 bus does not include Bridport Hospital, Netherbury, Gerrards Green in Beaminster or Broadwindsor.

Bus times have changed leaving children with long waits to get home.

Parent Carolyn Emett said: “First are making a hash of the 40 service they have taken over from Damory.

“The new timetable means that young Colfox pupils – some Year 7, age 11 - will have to wait outside the school until 5pm to get a bus home, because the 3.50pm that Damory used to run has been cut.”

Broadwindsor is to lose its only bus service in a week’s time, without warning. The news came out after the new timetable, operative from September 18 was announced on Dorset First’s Facebook page.

West District District Councillor Jacqui Sewell said: “The new route of the 40 bus is an absolute disaster for Broadwindsor, there are many, many people that rely on the bus to get to Beaminster for work, doctor’s appointments and shopping, but also a number of school children use this bus to get home from Colfox School.”

“I cannot remember any consultation about this proposed new route with myself or the parish council.”

Bridport town, district and county councillor Ros Kayes said: “The principles of the county council’s holistic transport review are rendered completely farcical by this.”

It’s like replacing a decent ladder with a pair of wobbly stilts. And totally unfit for purpose.”

County Councillor Rebecca Knox said: “It is frustrating that the new operator of the 40 bus as was has considered that the route through Broadwindsor is non-commercial.”

“This has happened over a number of years affecting many in Dorset. For these areas, and indeed this happened in Thorncombe, South Perrott, Chedington, Corscombe, there have been some very successful community transport link services arranged.

“The county council has a team looking at helping and advising communities about what can be done.”

A spokesman for First said: “The original service 40 was run on a commercial basis by Damory, but unfortunately, they withdrew it from the end of July. Since then, Dorset County Council has replaced this lost route on a temporary basis. The council has now enlisted our help to replace some of the service.

between the school transport routes that we currently operate in this area.

“Due to our commitment to providing the school services, we are unable to replicate the timetable exactly to fit around our current operation.”