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Brexit blamed for 'serious' shortage of bus drivers as services face cancellation

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Brexit and the legacy of covid are fuelling a crippling shortage in bus drivers across Scotland. Industry chiefs have warned services may be cancelled due to drivers simply not being available.

The bleak picture was set out in a briefing to politicians by the Confederation of Passenger Transport. They laid out a series of challenges facing the bus industry, including an average vacancy rate for drivers of around 12 per cent.

CPT estimated that bus usage is around 70-80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and flagged up that a vital network grant for firms ends in October.

If the grant does end, CPT warned that bus firms will not be able to protect passengers from route closures, service changes or higher fares.Surging costs include fuel rising by 30 per cent, utility prices soaring by up to 250 per cent, tyre inflation running at 20 per cent and spare parts costing more.The alarming briefing described driver shortages as one of the most “persistent and serious” issues facing the sector: “The main impact of driver shortages is short notice cancellation of services or routes, leading to frustrated bus users.

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