Bus services in South Holland are to be reduced at weekends due to the current driver shortage.
Brylaine has announced a number of its services, including the F42 Spalding Town and B15 and K59 Spalding to Boston lines, will run on a reduced time table from November 6 until at least January 31, 2022.
The company says its taken the measures to prioritise staffing on Monday to Friday “school runs and commuting peak periods”.
In a statement the company said: “The driver shortage which has blighted the UK in recent months is now heavily impacting the public transport industry as drivers switch to higher-paid driving and less stressful jobs options.
“It couldn’t come at a worst time as unfortunately the industry was already short of drivers before the pandemic hit, especially in rural regions.
“We as independents now find ourselves in direct competition with HGV’s recruitment incentives and wages, higher paid production employment opportunities along with retail. All of whom are promoting and offering commercial incentives.
“The incentivisation of driving jobs is making it increasingly difficult for bus operators to compete in the employment sector, We also understand that increasing fares to manage and raise wages right now is not an option, its also a sure fire way of turning people away from what should be a sustainable rural transport solution. All this at a time when we are hit with 22% higher fuel prices, energy prices and uncertainty around any support measures available in 2022.
“Brylaine operate approx 1.8 million km around Lincolnshire every year and very few of our services are financially supported by the local authority, they are primarily commercial and self sustaining through onboard fares not the tax payer. With a team of 55 people, we have throughout the pandemic continued to support rural communities by ensuring bus services were always available.
“Unfortunately, we are not immune to todays challenges and regretfully find ourselves now having to reduce service levels at the weekend; this is in order to ensure buses are not cancelled for school runs and on crucial commuting across peak period routes from Monday – Friday.
“Effected weekend services will be:
“The weekend changes will be in effect from 06/11/2021 until 31/01/2022 this is so that we can give certainty to passengers on their bus timetables. What we hope is for passengers to be able to plan their weekend journeys with an assurance the bus will be there for them, especially in the run up to Christmas and over winter holidays seasons.
“We would direct anyone needed alternative times to those that we’re providing to Call Connect, speak to an advisor 0345 456 4474 Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 9:30am – 4pm or visit www.lincbus.info for help, advice or to book.”