Bus services hit by driver shortage


First make temporary emergency changes to timetables for numbers 1, 4 & 12

Local Lib Dem councillors have met with First York after an announcement was made that the frequency of some key services is being temporarily reduced due to a severe shortage of drivers.

The frequency reductions on routes 1, 4 and 12, which came into effect from Saturday 28 August, have been prompted by a severe shortage of qualified driving staff due to the effects of Covid and Brexit. We understand that these emergency service reductions will be for 3 to 4 weeks initially, but that even with First recruiting new drivers, the staff shortage may well persist. The worst affected service will be the number 12, which connects Foxwood, Acomb Park, Woodthorpe and Askham Bar with the city centre and then on to Monks Cross. It will run every hour, rather than every 35 minutes. The frequency of the number 1 will reduce from 12 to 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime, with some reductions to early morning and evening journeys. The number 4 will run every 20 minutes Saturday daytime, rather than every 15 minutes.

Cllr Andrew Waller commented: “These local bus services provide a vital link for many people, including elderly residents and key workers, and so this news comes as a blow. We successfully campaigned to save the full route of the number 12 and we remain committed. There have already been reliability issues on the Transdev-operated number 24 route."

“We all know that the driver shortage has had a severe impact on many sectors such as logistics and waste collections, and it is good to hear that First are taking steps to recruit new drivers. “It is vital that residents have a bus service that they can rely on. If more car journeys result, this will lead to more congestion which is in nobody’s interest."

“At a time when we need to encourage more people to choose sustainable transport options, I fear that the loss of bus services will make this shift even more difficult to achieve and will hit hardest residents for whom use of a private car isn’t an option.”

New timetable information is available online at www.itravelyork.info

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