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Gloucestershire Business News

Bus chaos as driver shortage bites

Businesses in Gloucestershire are feeling the effects of badly disrupted public transport in the region as staff are left stranded by cancelled buses due to driver shortages.

Workers and students throughout the county have faced long waits at the bus stop as dozens of buses failed to turn up.

The firm reported numerous services were unable to run this morning in Gloucester.

In Cheltenham, it also apologised for a series of buses not showing up.

Taking to Twitter, the bus company said: "Services are disrupted this morning. We're running reduced services..."

Routes affected included 94/94X/94U as well as A and C.

Rachel Geliamassi, Managing Director for Stagecoach West, said: "We are continuing to run over 95% of our timetabled services and have firm plans in place to return to full services as quickly as possible."

The company blames the nationwide shortage of drivers, the effects of Brexit on drivers not returning from Europe, and the continued impact of the Covid pingdemic.

It's currently engaged in a massive recruitment and training drive.

Rachel Geliamassi said: "We are continuing to recruit and now have a new team of drivers going through our training programme that will be getting on the road in the weeks ahead."

Buses between Gloucester, Stroud and Forest Green have faced major disruption with many cancellations on the 63 route, also on the 67 route between Stroud, Bussage and Cashes Green.

The 66 route between Stroud and Cheltenham is affected, with cancellations scheduled for this evening.

The 65 route between Stroud, Dursley and Gloucester will also see cancellations this afternoon and this evening, following more disruption this morning.

There is a severely disrupted service between Gloucester and Stroud on the 64 route.

The timetabling chaos follows major issues yesterday, just as many workers were returning to businesses and students started term.

"Whilst we are seeing a normal turnover in staff, as there is in all parts of the economy, issues such as Covid and Brexit have also affected our business and this has resulted in a short-term issue with the availability of bus drivers.

Rachel Geliamassi added: "We would like to thank our customers for their patience. We are focusing resources on key services to ensure that we deliver the best service possible within current resources while we work to add the new members to our team."

The 94/94X/94U/N94 services will have a revised Saturday and Sunday timetable up to every 15 minutes during the peak daytime period. There will be no Service 94X operating on Saturdays or Sundays. There will be no changes to the Service 94 Monday to Friday.

The Service A will experience revised Monday to Friday and Saturday timetables with journeys operating up to every 15 minutes during the peak daytime period

The Services D/E will experience revised Monday to Friday and Saturday timetables to provide a combined frequency of up to every 15 minutes during the peak daytime period

Live updates will be provided detailing any services changes at www.stagecoachbus.com

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