UK faces bus driver shortage as staff ‘leaving in droves’ for better-paid HGV jobs

UK faces bus driver shortage as staff ‘leaving in droves’ for better-paid HGV jobs

10/24/2021 8:00:00 PM

UK faces bus driver shortage as staff ‘leaving in droves’ for better-paid HGV jobs

Services across Derby, Stockton-on-Tees, Nottingham and Loughborough among those affected

It comes after bosses from the haulage, recruitment and food sectors warned ministers at the government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that the UK’s lorry driver shortage is “not visibly getting better” and could take around a year to recover.

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Figures revealed by theOffice for National Statistics(ONS) earlier on Tuesday showed that driver numbers have plunged by 53,000 over the past four years, largely driven by retiring drivers not being replaced fast enough by new recruits.Bus services running across the East Midlands have had to reduce the frequency of buses on a number of routes.

Routes through the Derby suburb of Allestree are among those impacted. Trentbarton, which operates the service across Derby, has 90 of its 900 driver posts vacant, a shortfall of 10 per cent.The issue has arisen from some drivers retiring or relocating, as others have left to take on jobs as HGV drivers.

“At the moment, the transport and logistics sector are literally throwing money at drivers to plug their shortfalls,” Jeff Counsell, managing director of Trentbarton told Sky News. “The difference is that they can pass that cost on to the consumer – we can’t readily pass that cost on.

“We’ve not been allowed to increase fares for the last 18 months. We haven’t made a profit for the last 18 months because we’ve received a government subsidy.“We can’t compete with the logistics and distribution sector at this moment in time.“Other cost pressures are also going up – so fuel, for example, is costing us £100,000 more so far in 2021 than it did in 2020 because the price of fuel is escalating.”

The Department for Transport has been approached for comment. Read more: The Independent »

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Also worth noting that bus drivers have been at the front in the covid crisis. Many deaths due to transmission from passengers. And now, with fewer passengers wearing masks, drivers may feel driving a lorry is safer as well as paying better. This was all part of the plan, don't you remember? 1.3 million on the dole still

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