September 2, 2021 2.20 pm This story is over 32 months old

Driver shortages cause Lincolnshire school bus chaos

Parents told: ‘don’t use school bus unless you have to’

Driver shortages are causing school transport problems across the county with some pupils facing several weeks of term without a place on a bus.

Lincolnshire County Council says it can’t yet offer offer concessionary, paid-for school bus places to students, and won’t be able to do this until passes have been arranged for all children entitled to free transport – which could take weeks.

The council has blamed the problems on a shortage of drivers, and is asking parents to consider an ‘alternative means’ of getting their child to school before making an application for a pass.

Council officers say transport providers are facing challenges in retaining and recruiting drivers, and it is likely to be ‘some weeks’ into the new term before paid-for places are confirmed, with parents having to find another means of transport for the time being.

Martin Smith, the county council’s assistant director for education, said: “The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the transport sector, which is making it more difficult to arrange school transport.

“However, we’re working closely with providers to ensure that eligible pupils that do need transport can still get to school or college.

“Transport details, and a bus pass where appropriate, will be sent to you once the necessary arrangements are in place.”

Martin said anyone who can’t get their child to school by an alternative means or anyone who wants to check the status of their application, should email [email protected].

And the council says despite the relaxation of Covid measures, it is strongly recommended pupils who do have a place on a bus, continue to wear a face covering on transport wherever possible. Some transport providers may also make face coverings a requirement.