A man in a face mask and gloves driving a bus

Bus Users calls for urgent action from Welsh Government on bus driver shortage

In an open letter to Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS, Bus Users is urging Welsh Government to develop an apprenticeship scheme to address the critical shortage of bus drivers in the country (translation below)

We write to highlight our concern at the present level of bus driver shortages which is impacting on passengers in terms of late notice cancellation of services and the subsequent inconvenience to passengers.

We are encouraging operators to either hire agency drivers to maintain present levels of frequency, or reduce frequencies to match the resources available so that passengers can plan their journeys with a degree of certainty.

Operators are advising that part of the problem is that there are delays at DVLA with processing new driving licence applications. Even when this backlog has been resolved there will still be issues with driver retention with Courier Operators, Supermarkets and Haulage operators all chasing a decreasing pool of skilled drivers.

We were very encouraged on reading the Llwybr Newydd:Wales Transport Strategy about the plans to transform bus travel in Wales and provide passengers with more sustainable travel opportunities. We are concerned, however, that ongoing driver shortages may severely impact on the ability to deliver these services and an opportunity will be missed to achieve modal shift and meet decarbonisation and air quality targets.

We would call on Welsh Government to seize the initiative here, highlight the importance of the role of bus drivers and develop an apprenticeship scheme. We believe that such a scheme, offering participants a living wage and teaching the necessary driving and customer service skills required to become a bus driver, will help address driver shortages over the next 5 years.

This is an urgent issue affecting people and communities across Wales. We strongly urge you to consider putting in place a suitable support package to ensure more drivers are available to provide the quality of bus services that you want to deliver, and that passengers need. Only then will people be able to make the shift from travelling by car to traveling sustainably and improving air quality for all.

Ysgrifennwn i fynegi ein pryder ynglŷn â’r prinder gyrwyr bysiau presennol sy’n effeithio ar deithwyr o ran canslo gwasanaethau ar fyr rybudd a’r anghyfleuster dilynol a achosir i deithwyr.

Rydym yn annog gweithredwyr naill ai i hurio gyrwyr asiantaeth i gynnal y lefelau amlder presennol, neu i leihau amlderau i gydweddu â’r adnoddau sydd ar gael, fel y gall teithwyr gynllunio’u teithiau gyda rhywfaint o sicrwydd.

Yn ôl y gweithredwyr, rhan o’r broblem yw bod oedi yn y DVLA wrth brosesu ceisiadau am drwyddedau gyrru newydd. Hyd yn oed pan fydd yr ôl-groniad hwn wedi cael ei ddatrys, bydd y problemau’n parhau o ran cadw gyrwyr, gan fod Gweithredwyr Dosbarthu, Archfarchnadoedd, a Gweithredwyr Cludo bob un yn canlyn carfan sy’n lleihau o yrwyr medrus.

Roedd yn galonogol darllen Llwybr Newydd: Strategaeth Drafnidiaeth Cymru ynglŷn â’r cynlluniau i drawsnewid teithio ar fysiau yng Nghymru a darparu mwy o gyfleoedd teithio cynaliadwy i deithwyr. Fodd bynnag, rydym yn pryderu y bydd y prinder gyrwyr parhaus yn cael effaith difrifol ar y gallu i gyflenwi’r gwasanaethau hyn, ac o ganlyniad, bydd cyfle wedi cael ei golli i gyflawni newid moddol a chyrraedd targedau datgarboneiddio ac ansawdd aer.

Rydym yn galw ar Lywodraeth Cymru i achub y blaen yma, gan amlygu pwysigrwydd rôl gyrwyr bysiau a datblygu cynllun prentisiaethau. Credwn y bydd y cyfryw gynllun, sy’n cynnig cyflog byw i’r cyfranogwyr ac yn darparu’r sgiliau gyrru a gwasanaeth i gwsmeriaid sydd eu hangen i fod yn yrwyr bysiau, yn helpu i fynd i’r afael â’r prinder gyrwyr dros y 5 mlynedd nesaf.

Mae hwn yn fater brys sy’n effeithio ar bobl a chymunedau ar draws Cymru. Rydym yn eich cymell yn gryf i ystyried cyflwyno pecyn cymorth addas i sicrhau bod mwy o yrwyr ar gael i ddarparu gwasanaeth bysiau o’r ansawdd y dymunwch ei gyflenwi, ac sydd ei angen ar deithwyr. Mae’n rhaid i hyn ddigwydd cyn y gall pobl symud oddi wrth deithio mewn car i deithio’n gynaliadwy a gwella ansawdd yr aer i bawb.

 

Bus Users 2021-08-31T16:45:59+01:00