A driver shortage means local passengers are being left bus-less. There are cancellations and reduced services again today including on the Number 10 serving Stoke Gifford and Thornbury, the 462 in Emersons Green, and 12 and 3X in Bristol.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said:
“A lack of strategic planning over the last decade means we are now in crisis. The transport industry has been issuing dire warnings about the driver shortage for many a year. But we are where we are and it is clear that there is a shortage of drivers across the economy. The latest issue we are seeing is bus drivers being ‘poached’ to become HGV drivers, and the ongoing pandemic and Brexit issues continue to impact many businesses. The positive here is there is a strong demand for jobs. But it is clear we need urgent action from government, not sticking plasters.”
Mr Norris has criticised the Government’s National Bus Strategy, “Bus back better” saying “our key workers heroes got no mention in the Government’s flagship bus plan but drivers are fundamental.”
The Metro Mayor continued: “I am working hard to secure additional funding for bus services but until the driver shortage is addressed adequately, no amount of funding can guarantee local bus service will continue running.”
David Redgewell, public transport campaigner and a member of Bristol One City transport board, equalities representative, said:
“Passengers need buses to turn up as an essential part of our public transport network for journeys to school, college and universities, for work, hospitals, shopping, journeys and of course leisure travel in tourist areas of the West of England. This shortage of bus drivers is now affecting the economy of the West of England in the cities of Bristol and Bath and our rural communities.”