'Major' bus route hit by driver shortages leaves passengers struggling to travel

The disruption of bus services connecting Oswestry to Chirk and on to Wrexham is causing problems for those trying to get to work, to appointments or to college and university.

LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 18/01/2021 - Arriva Bus GV - Telford Buses.
LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 18/01/2021 - Arriva Bus GV - Telford Buses.

Arriva Buses has announced disruption to the 2, 2A and 2C routes, citing driver shortages for the timetable changes.

It says that the processing of new provisional licences by the DVLA should ease what it hopes will be a short-term problem.

As well as the three towns the buses also connect local villages and provide a link to Gobowen Railway Station and the Orthopaedic Hospital. The latest disrupted 2, 2A and 2C services were on Monday.

Chirk councillor, Terry Evans said that Arriva Buses should prioritise such important routes.

“This is a major route from Wrexham to Oswestry and the time table should prioritise it. People have to rely on this service to get to work. There are many in my ward who have contacted me about this problem.”

Priya Tailor, from Arriva Buses, said: “Tens of thousands of bus routes across the country are running on schedule each day and what we are seeing are localised issues with driver availability caused by a number of issues, including drivers having to self-isolate.”

“We are not seeing a shortage of people wanting to become bus drivers, recognising the strength in the sector, but currently there is a greater number of people leaving the industry due to external factors such as EU nationals choosing to return to their home countries and the pandemic meaning people are rethinking their lifestyle and choosing not to rejoin the workforce. A backlog at the DVLA and DVSA has meant that new entrants to the industry have faced delays securing provisional licenses and testing slots.

“We are confident that these will be short-term problems. The DVLA has confirmed that it will process new provisional licence applications as a priority so new drivers can start their training as soon as possible and our members are reporting a much improved position.”

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