Stagecoach East Midlands have recently had to make temporary cancellations to some bus schedules in Lincoln often with short notice creating a feeling of uncertainty for bus passengers who must check daily to see if their scheduled bus will run.
The daily bus cancellations in Lincoln have been sporadic; while one departure on a bus route may be served today, the same departure could be cancelled tomorrow.
Stagecoach have apologised for these short-term disruptions and are “working incredibly hard” to keep the majority of timetabled services running as normal.
As the country re-opens and starts up again from the easing of restrictions over the summer, bus companies are one of many industries that continue to be impacted by the pandemic. A shortage of HGV delivery drivers is causing delays for fuel to be delivered to petrol stations and delays for food to be delivered to supermarkets.
This driver shortage is inevitably affecting bus companies too and Stagecoach are not the only company feeling the pinch. Arriva in Yorkshire are having to make short notice bus cancellations due to the nationwide driver shortage and so too are Go Ahead Group.
Delays with the DVLA processing bus driving licenses for new recruits coupled with the issues surrounding Brexit has added to the challenges of managing staff resources.
Lincoln Bus spoke to Stagecoach in Lincoln and a spokesperson for Stagecoach said:
Our teams are working incredibly hard to ensure we continue to run the vast majority of our timetabled services and we remain focused on prioritising the services we know are most important for our customers.
As is the case with many organisations and sectors in the economy, the pandemic is continuing to impact our business. Issues such as Brexit and the DVLA taking significantly longer to process bus driver licences has added to these challenges beyond our control.
We are working round the clock to recruit people into our team and train them in the roles that we need, and we are seeing a strong demand for jobs. However, it takes an average of 12 weeks for a professional bus driver to be fully trained and any delays outside our control in the processing of licences means we cannot get them on the road on our network as fast as we would like.
We apologise to our customers who have been affected by any short-term service changes, and we would like to thank them for their patience with our frontline teams whilst we work to get our new drivers on the road.
Where we do have to make changes to our bus services, we are providing live updates to our customers through our social media channels.