Reader's letter: 'Bus drivers are leaving at an alarming rate, at my depot alone at least 20 have left'
Your article on the bus driver shortage puts staff shortage in inverted commas almost as if Stagecoach are lying about a shortage of drivers.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Drivers are leaving the company at an alarming rate.
Partly due to the derisory wage increase offered but also the increased stress created by other road users complete lack of patience with buses and abuse from certain passengers who seem to think they can travel for a reduced fare or free.
When they are told this won’t happen the abuse they hurl is completely excessive for the situation, and escalates to threats if extreme violence against yourself and family members! All this to save £2.10!
Who else has to work in an environment like that?
The company says that there is no money for a pay rise due to the losses incurred during the pandemic, but the union disagree as they show that Stagecoach did make enough profit to cover the pay increase requested by them.
The pay offer Stagecoach proposed actually results in a loss of earnings when taking into account increasing costs of fuel, goods and services. Asking for the public’s patience is a waste of time.
At my depot alone at least 20 drivers have left, maybe more.
It takes two weeks of driving training to get someone ready for a test. If, and that’s if they pass, it’s then onto types training on the different model buses we drive. After that it’s route learning and ticket machine training. So potentially another two maybe three weeks. For one driver. It will take months to train the required amount of drivers. One instructor can train up two drivers in two weeks but it still isn’t enough.
I hope this clarifies the situation somewhat.