DRIVER shortages will see dozens of bus services culled across Barnsley.
The timetable changes by Stagecoach will come into force at the end of this month, as the firm attempts a massive recruitment drive to fill its gaps in staffing.
As in other driving industries, bus firms such as Stagecoach - which operates a majority of the services in Barnsley - have seen their workforce cut due to the pandemic and Brexit, which have had knock-on effects on training and hiring, working conditions and current drivers leaving the trade.
The X10, which runs from Barnsley to Leeds through Darton, will only operate at 6.50am and 4.10pm from Barnsley, and 7.55am and 5.30pm from Leeds, from Monday to Friday.
There will be no service on weekends, with Stagecoach saying alternative journeys are available on the 93 service and on trains.
The X19 has had its weekday off-peak and Saturday daytime service reduced to one an hour, and has been retimed to coordinate with the 218 and 219 between Barnsley, Ardsley and Darfield.
The 219 and 219a have been reduced to an hourly service from Monday to Saturday daytimes.
The 93 and 95 from Barnsley to Darton have had their weekday service reduced from every 10 minutes to every 15 minutes, with the Saturday service reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes.
The 66 from Barnsley to Elsecar has had its Monday to Saturday daytime service reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes.
The 59 and 59a from Barnsley to Wakefield through Royston has had its Monday to Saturday daytime service reduced from every 30 minutes to hourly.
The 32 from Barnsley to Cudworth has had its Monday to Saturday daytime service reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes.
The 28, between Barnsley and Hemsworth, has been reduced Monday to Saturday daytimes to one an hour.
There’s no change to journeys to and from Pontefract.
The 1 from Barnsley to Staincross through Mapplewell, the 6 from Barnsley to Worsbrough, and 11 and 12 from Barnsley to Athersley North and South have all had their Monday to Saturday daytime frequency reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes, and Sunday daytime service reduced to hourly.
The 27 from Barnsley to Wombwell through Grimethorpe has been retimed to coordinate with services 28 and 32 on Pontefract Road.
“Along with many other industries, bus operators across the country are experiencing a shortage of staff, leaving the company with not enough drivers to run all journeys each day and though our teams have worked incredibly hard, sadly we’ve had to cancel some journeys, sometimes at short notice,” said a spokesperson.
“The situation has worsened recently and has been compounded by issues at the DVLA, where delays issuing licences to bus drivers means that the company has had to wait weeks, or even months, before newly recruited drivers can start their training.
“From Saturday, October 30, we’re making temporary changes to some timetables to help us run more reliable services while we recruit more bus drivers and we’re hoping to return to normal timetables as soon as we can.”