COMMUTERS and councillors from Chelmsford have hit out at MP Simon Burns about his chauffered journeys to work.

Stephen Robinson, Lib Dem councillor for Patching Hall at Chelmsford Council, said the debacle suggests the MP is out of touch with commuters.

Mr Robinson said: “I think it is a bit much for any home counties MP to be using a chauffeur driven car, particular when they are the Minister for Transport.

“In 2009 he got rid of his second home because of the cost to taxpayers, now though it seems like he’s been costing us even more.

“I think unless you experience the daily grind of what commuters go through, then you don’t know what it is like. He [Burns] would be showing more support for the industry that he is supposed to support as well.”

Fellow Lib Dem councillor Mark Springett (Moulsham Lodge) said he thinks the MP would learn a lot if he commuted by train.

Mr Springett said: “I believe he’s been doing it since the Westminster expenses scandal. As a spokesman said there is no reason not to take the train.

“If he were to travel by train he might be more aware of commuters day-to-day problems and pain. He is not exactly coming across as a man of the people.”

Constituents have also slammed the politician for his commuting habits.

Kip Hakes, a designer who lives in Chelmsford, said: “I am astounded people continually vote for Simon Burns, he appears so horrifically out of touch.”

Commuter Ian Mascot, who travels from Chelmsford to Holborn for work, said: “I think it is outrageous that Simon Burns spends more on a chauffeur per year than most people who commute earn yearly.

“Being the transport minister he should set an example, or does he think he is above using public transport?”.