Councillor Phil Bateman said today “I have always supported public transport because it is a necessity for so many people in our community and the wider population, and it is a means of transport that will be needed not just today, but way into the future as Cities and Towns ponder their way forward to tackle climate change.
Many of you here in Wednesfield and across the City of Wolverhampton, and in other settlements that make up this huge West Midlands conurbation, will not know of the huge driver shortages, that are being faced by bus and coach operators.
But it is there and it is adding to the problems of operators as they gear up to the requirements and the needs in these settlements to link people, with work, leisure, retail, and commerce, education and health connections. During what is already a planning nightmare due to the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Bus and coach sector is in dire straits. I know that from my contacts in this sector that the driver shortage situation isn’t appearing to be getting much better and despite the efforts of Trade Bodies the governments, DVLA and DVSA departments appear to be in the way as operators try hard to deliver the requirements that the industry needs.
I am further informed that ‘Survey after survey’ is just getting up operators’ noses’ – They want and need some practical help from the Department of Transport,
My hope is that Government and Local Government will recognise the importance of these operations, for the communities they serve and help by addressing the recruitment and training that is required by the industry to staff up for all our future requirements, as we continue to migrate towards City and Urban life.