The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, which represents National Express and Stagecoach have warned that there is around 4,000 vacancies for bus drivers.
Bus drivers who hold a HGV licence typically get paid around £32,000 whilst lorry drivers are now being paid almost £80,000 if not more at some companies.
Bobby Morton, Unite’s national officer for passenger transport, told Sky News, “A number of the things that lorry drivers share with bus drivers is very long hours, massive fatigue levels, lack of basic facilities such as toilet facilities and washing facilities.”
“And the mindset of the bus drivers at the moment is that, in the haulage industry, the employers threw money at the problem, at the shortage.
“So the mindset is now, if we’ve got to work in these Victorian conditions, then we might as well get £20 an hour driving the lorry, as opposed to £10 an hour driving a bus.
“So the bus drivers are leaving in droves to go to the other industry.”
A CPT spokesman told Sky News, “Operators have recruitment plans in place, and we are talking to Government and its agencies to ensure that the recruitment and training process is as streamlined and efficient as possible.
“What we now need to see is the requirement for a provisional licence to be issued to begin training abolished and the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to not prioritise HGV testing to resolve the shortfall in that sector at the expense of the bus and coach sector.”