Bus driver shortages spreading across the UK – is your area affected?

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The worker shortage that has blighted the UK in recent months is now spreading to the public transport industry as bus drivers switch to now higher-paid lorry driving jobs. Operators have blamed road haulage bosses for poaching their drivers and warned they needed 4,000 recruits to keep the sector moving.

The Confederation of Public Transport said: “It is having an impact across the country.

“More bus drivers are quitting than we can recruit and talk of higher-paid jobs in road haulage is adding to the problem.

“Some have unquestionably been attracted to lorry driving by all this talk about wages increasing.”

Bus drivers earning an average of £32,500 per year have unsurprisingly been tempted to get more than double – up to £78,000 per year – behind the wheel of a lorry.

READ MORE: Tax code changes influenced lorry driver crisis

The CPT added: “If we increased wages it would mean higher fares for passengers.

“We don’t have the flexibility of the road haulage industry, which is part of a long delivery chain where the cost can be spread.”

Bus routes in some parts of the UK have been affected by the shortage.

Companies have been forced to reduce the frequency of services to make sure buses are not cancelled for school runs and on crucial commuting routes.

Which areas are affected by the bus driver shortage?

The hardest-hit areas are Scotland, the northeast of England, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

However, there are reported shortages in most parts of the UK currently.

West Yorkshire is short of about 250 drivers, or 10 percent of the required number, according to the region’s transport bosses.

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Information is not available for specific lines and routes.

Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Transport for comment.

A shortage of vital bus drivers is the latest in the ongoing worker crisis facing the UK.

The UK has been blighted by shortages of HGV drivers in recent months following the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

There are also global supply chain issues in a number of sectors.

The crisis has lead to empty fuel forecourts and supermarket as consumers panic buy petrol and food.

Elsewhere, the hospitality industry is also suffering from a shortage of people to work, with one in six jobs in the industry currently vacant.

The shortage is forcing businesses to step up efforts to attract and keep hold of staff, with three-quarters saying they have offered better pay, according to research by accountancy firm BDO released last week.

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