Transdev academy training bus

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby has aired frustrations and thanked customers for their patience as driver shortages and delays at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) continue to affect the industry.

It comes the bus firm reports delays in getting prospective drivers through its training facility, The Academy, and onto the road. According to Transdev, 95 driver hopefuls are currently waiting “over three times longer than usual” to have licences and test dates confirmed by DVSA.

A number of journeys provided by Transdev across Yorkshire and Lancashire have had to be cancelled as a result.

Alex Hornby Transdev CEO“Right now, we have 95 new colleagues at The Academy, our in-house driver training facility in Yorkshire and Lancashire,” Mr Hornby says. “They just want to complete their training and be out on the road serving our customers – but instead, they’re waiting over three times longer than usual to get licences and test dates confirmed from DVSA.

“Now is the time our industry needs help to resolve these delays, so we can deliver services confidently and get more people back on board. Most of our buses are running as normal and we are attracting new drivers, so the current delays to licensing and testing are very frustrating.”

As well as asking the government to speed up provisional licence applications and free up test slots, Transdev says it plans to introduce its own delegated examiner to help process testing. “But DVSA training needed to help us introduce these roles remains suspended,” warns Mr Hornby. “We’ll continue to do all we can and continue our campaign to recruit more drivers.”

Customers are being kept informed of any cancellations via the Transdev Go mobile app and social media. The operator is also running a recruitment campaign with a £1,000 welcome bonus to drivers who already hold a licence.

According to the Confederation of Passenger Transport, the bus sector is currently facing a shortage of an estimated 4,000 drivers nationwide.