Pressure on Calderdale bus services as drivers switch to driving lorries
Issues including losing drivers to heavy goods vehicle jobs are impacting on bus services in West Yorkshire, says a senior scrutiny councillor.
Supply-chain issues for new more environment friendly buses, driver illness absences relating to COVID and MOT backlogs are also having an affect, said Calderdale councillor Coun Amanda Parsons-Hulse (Lib Dem, Warley), who chairs West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Scrutiny Committee.
She is urging bus operators to increase their efforts to find solutions and, when changes affect timetabling and at times force a reduction in services, to keep customers better informed.
Coun Parsons-Hulse said residents had contacted her about reductions in some local bus services that were causing problems for people getting to work, school and out to the shops.
“I am told that there are a number of problems – some of them national – that are combining to make things difficult on some routes and school buses.
“Some drivers have been ill with COVID-19 and others have gone off to be HGV drivers, to address the shortage that has been so much in the news recently.
“Additionally, getting MOT tests for buses is proving difficult due to the backlog,” she said.
On the positive side, she said new buses have been ordered and delivered and some of these are smaller buses that should make routes more economical to run and so lessen the risk of them being withdrawn altogether.
“Some of these are more environmentally friendly than those they are replacing.
“The delivery of new buses has, though, been affected by the supply chain issues we’re all well aware of,” said Coun Parsons-Hulse.
She said all of these factors have combined to make travelling by bus more difficult.
“I urge all the affected bus operators to increase their efforts to solve these issues and, just as importantly, keep their customers informed about changes to timetables and reduced services.
“The travelling public deserves to be kept up-to-date with what is going on,” said Coun Parsons-Hulse.
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