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CONCERNING BUS DRIVERS
There is much concern about the shortage of PCV drivers, with your editorial column specifically covering this (Buses September). One comment, which also applies to customers, is particularly pertinent: “Operators may need to take a hard look at the support they offer.”
Drivers are the visible performers on the bus industry stage, central to the success of the show. In previous eras, the operational front-line was shared with travel office staff, inspectors, conductors, and even the depot shift-hand and parcel boy. Such staffing has greatly reduced, and most of the burden is now on drivers’ shoulders.
While the government is keen to support bus services with ongoing funding and the forthcoming ‘£2 fare-cap’, there are driver shortages and operators are attracting trade union attention. Although there were industrial relations problems in the past, notably in the socialist post-war decades, did they suffer indefinite all-out strikes of the kind now occurring?