The coach company hired by the troubled DVLA to transport its staff to the office is struggling because its employees keep stopping – to become better-paid truck drivers
- The DVLA uses private company Cymru Coaches to bring hundreds of employees to its offices in Swansea every day
- But the company said drivers have left to triple their pay as truck drivers
- They warned of an impending domino effect across the industry, hitting school buses and other transportation routes
A coach company hired by the troubled DVLA to take its staff to the office is struggling because its employees keep stopping — to take on higher-paying positions like truck drivers.
Clearing a backlog of 55,000 truck license applications, the government agency uses private company Cymru Coaches to bring hundreds of employees to its offices in Swansea every day.
But the company said experienced drivers have set out to triple their pay as hauliers and warned of an impending knock-on effect in the industry, hitting school buses and other transportation routes.
A coach company hired by the troubled DVLA to transport staff to the office is struggling as its employees keep quitting — taking on better-paid positions like truck drivers
Director Steve Pearce told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We are going through a difficult time and the government needs to act quickly – I’ve spoken to other bus operators across the country and everyone is struggling to cope.’
As the UK faces a shortage of around 100,000 truck drivers, thousands of C license holders, including emergency vehicle drivers, have received letters urging them to become truck drivers.
Mr Pearce said his family business had lost four drivers in recent weeks, adding: ‘We are currently getting wages of up to £70,000 a year for lorry drivers. We can’t compete with that. It’s almost three times as much as a standard bus or coach driver.’
Nine of his other drivers are out of work after testing positive for Covid-19 as the number of cases in schools across Wales has surpassed 10,000 since the start of the semester three weeks ago, meaning he is down with just two-thirds of the normal workforce is working.
As the UK faces a shortage of around 100,000 truck drivers, thousands of C license holders, including emergency vehicle drivers, have received letters urging them to become truck drivers
The company uses a fleet of 13 coaches to provide a subsidized ‘home-to-work’ service to DVLA employees who live within a 12-mile radius of the agency’s offices in Morriston, Swansea. The service is fully utilized, but due to social distancing, each coach is only allowed to carry half of the regulated number of passengers.
Delays at the DVLA have been exacerbated by ongoing strike action by the Public and Commercial Services Union. Half of the agency’s staff still work from home, but the DVLA denied it had any impact on the processing of the truck documents.
A spokeswoman said: “Our teams are working hard to process these applications. It is our number one priority right now. Operations personnel who have to be in the office to answer and key in the phones are at their desks.
“No one is sitting at home when their job opens an envelope in the office. It’s not like people have a cup of tea while waiting to be called. It’s business as usual.’