A HEREFORD bus company has been forced to introduce an emergency timetable.

Yeomans Travel, based in Old School Lane, has made changes to two of its routes due to a shortage of drivers.

The company, which ditched a number of routes in Hereford after the coronavirus pandemic hit, said there would be a reduced service on service 79, from the city bus station to Newton Farm.

The 2.26pm journey from Madley to Hereford on service 449 has also been withdrawn but on schooldays only.


The new timetables can be seen on the Yeomans Travel website.

The firm said it regretted that due to a national shortage of bus drivers, it had to make the changes.

Nationally, the problems stem from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency facing a backlog from the pandemic when driving tests were cancelled.

But there is no indication Herefordshire is facing a driving test backlog for lorry and bus drivers.

Shadow transport minister Simon Lightwood said in the Commons last week that almost one in 10 bus driver positions were vacant nationwide, "hitting vital services across the country hard".

“But ministers are asleep at the wheel, with no action plan to tackle it," he said.

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“Currently, DVSA requires a provisional bus licence to start training. But with huge paperwork delays, 20 per cent of applicants give up before their training begins.

“So will the minister listen to calls to speed up this glacial process to allow applicants to begin their theory tests while they wait for their provisional licences?”

Transport minister Richard Holden replied: “The Opposition spokesman raises a very important point and one I’ve been raising myself and have spoken to both unions and the management recently on visits to both Stevenage and to Gateshead bus depots.

“There’s currently an under three-week wait for driving tests for bus drivers, under three-week wait for practical tests, and we are looking at everything we can to speed it up.”


Sargeant Brothers, based in Kington, stepped in to save a number of routes in Hereford after Yeomans made the move to drop a chunk of its commercial services in a bid to protect its future.

Herefordshire Council said 10 bus routes were affected, with the firm also blaming out-of-town shopping centres and places of work.

Yeomans Travel, which said it had been a family-owned company for more than 100 years, said passenger numbers had halved since 2019 and it needed to take action to protect its future.

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