Suffolk buses 'should' be back on schedule by Christmas
- Credit: MARK LANGFORD
A Suffolk bus company has said it is aiming to have a permanent timetable in place by the end of the current school term following months of regular cancellations.
Chambers have been forced to cancel services due to the ongoing driver shortage, updating customers via Twitter when routes are affected.
But they are hopeful they will be able to provide a new timetable soon to provide some clarity for passengers.
John Gaunt is just one of the passengers who has been impacted, he said he has found it frustrating that other bus companies are cancelling fewer services than Chambers.
The disgruntled customer said elderly passengers have been struggling to keep up to date because changes are only updated on social media.
The 6.28am service on the 753 route from Great Cornard through to Bury St Edmunds at 6.28 am and the return journey leaving Bury St Edmunds at 7.50am is one that is frequently cancelled, impacting passengers in Sudbury, Long Melford, Acton, Great Waldingfield, Lavenham and Bury.
He said: "This has meant that many people needing to use those buses to get to work at that hour of the day have to resort to cars or not get to work.
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"I know of one lady, who used to catch the early bus in Long Melford to get to her place of work at a charity, having stood at the bus stop for up to an hour for a bus that was never coming.
"It has now progressed to cancelling buses throughout the day on both route 754 and 753, and now the 784, the service between Sudbury and Colchester."
Managing director of Chambers, Jeremy Cooper, said: "Like most bus operators Chambers buses has had to make a number of planned cancellations of journeys – regular travellers can pick up leaflets from the buses and we can also provide full details on 03301 020801 alongside live updates on twitter, our App and our website.
"We do have people leave from time to time and normally cover any short term gaps by moving colleagues from other depots to deputise, but this is not possible at present because of the national shortage of bus drivers.
"We offer comprehensive PCV training to upskill local people who want to keep the community moving and don’t mind working shifts.
"We hope to have a permanent timetable in place from the end of the current school term and we are very sorry that we have inconvenienced people in the meantime."