04:51PM, Monday 08 November 2021
Thames Valley Buses has confirmed disruption is likely to impact bus routes across Windsor and Maidenhead until at least the end of the month.
The operator blamed an ‘unprecedented shortage’ of bus drivers for ongoing disruption which has seen services reduced across the Royal Borough.
Thames Valley Buses said it was prioritising ‘some journeys such as schools’ but confirmed that the journeys which are unable to operate will not necessarily be the same.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “In common with bus operators around the country, we are currently experiencing an unprecedented shortage of bus drivers.
“The pool of experienced drivers is much smaller due to a parallel shortage of HGV drivers which has been much more widely publicised than that of the bus industry.
“Many HGV companies have been offering golden handshakes and inflated rates of pay which has understandably attracted some bus drivers as well as the potential non-skilled candidates.
“For context, it is being reported that there are 4,000 vacant bus driving positions across the nation, showing the scale of the current situation.”
The company added it was ‘recruiting heavily’ for new drivers, and said it can take ‘up to 12 weeks’ to recruit and train new drivers.
A spokesperson added: “In the interim, we regret that we are having to reduce some timetables.
“We are prioritising some journeys such as schools, but because our drivers don’t do the same work every day, the journeys unable to operate will not necessarily be the same.
“We are hopeful that the situation will start to improve from the end of the month. The most up to date information will be on our website or app.
“We recognise that many residents depend on our services, and we will do everything we can to list any alterations to our normal timetables there.”
For more information, visit https://www.thamesvalleybuses.com/service-updates
A number of schools across in Maidenhead and the surrounding areas have been named as top performers in Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2022.