Sadiq Khan grilled on protecting bus drivers from coronavirus
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The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, which represents National Express and Stagecoach, have made estimations on the shortage of bus drivers. They suggest there are reportedly 4,000 vacancies for bus drivers.
Bus drivers earn on average £32,500, but HGV drivers can get paid £78,000 instead.
Around one million letters have been posted across the UK, asking HGV licence-holders who left the industry to return amid the nation-wide shortage.
Bobby Morton, Unite’s national officer for passenger transport, has spoken about the shortage.
He told Sky News: “A number of the things that lorry drivers share with bus drivers is very long hours, massive fatigue levels, lack of basic facilities such as toilet facilities and washing facilities.”
“And the mindset of the bus drivers at the moment is that, in the haulage industry, the employers threw money at the problem, at the shortage.
“So the mindset is now, if we’ve got to work in these Victorian conditions, then we might as well get £20 an hour driving the lorry, as opposed to £10 an hour driving a bus.
“So the bus drivers are leaving in droves to go to the other industry.”
A CPT spokesman told Sky News: “Operators have recruitment plans in place, and we are talking to Government and its agencies to ensure that the recruitment and training process is as streamlined and efficient as possible.
“What we now need to see is the requirement for a provisional licence to be issued to begin training abolished and the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to not prioritise HGV testing to resolve the shortfall in that sector at the expense of the bus and coach sector.”
In West Yorkshire they are 10 percent below the required workforce.
On Tuesday, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures suggested numbers have fallen by 53,000 during four years.
Elsewhere, the hospitality industry is also suffering from a shortage of people to work, with one in six jobs in the industry currently vacant.
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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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