A BUS driver has been getting into the Christmas spirit by dressing up as cartoon character the Grinch.

Ashley Warren, 39, has been dressing up as the festive villain when driving bus routes around Essex, including Maldon.

The Stephensons of Essex bus driver has been dressing up every year as different Christmas-themed people or characters, last year choosing Santa Claus.

Ashley was driving buses in and around Maldon on Thursday and asked the manager if he could dress up.

The bus driver decided that this year he would be the Grinch.

He said: “I wanted to change it up a bit this year, so I chose the Grinch as I know it’s popular.

“I got the costume off of eBay and went from there, it’s great fun.”

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The bus driver moved to Essex after working as a conductor in London on Routemasters busses.

He then went from conducting to bus driving and coaching.

Ashley has been in the bus business for 17 years and moved from London to Witham with his new partner.

Now a part of Stephensons of Essex, he looks forward to bringing some festive cheer for passengers and passers-by.

He said: “People absolutely love it, whether it’s passengers or people walking past.

“When you see the smile they give, it’s lovely.

“I do it just to make people smile, especially with the years we’ve had recently.”

You can catch Ashley as the Grinch from now until Christmas on various Stephenson bus services across Essex.

Ashley’s routes covering Maldon, Witham, Braintree, Halstead, Colchester, Billericay, Wickford and Southend.