YELLOW Buses has apologised to customers after staff shortages and a difficult period means it has had to “rebuild” the business. 

The bus operator has reduced its commitment to route 3 from Westbourne to Royal Bournemouth Hospital to ease the effects of a driver shortage. 

In a post online, Yellow Buses said recruiting new drivers has become a “big challenge” and the operator apologised to customers and thanked them for their patience. 

A spokesperson for Yellow Buses said their 120th year is “one of the most difficult”, adding: “We have prided ourselves on providing seamless, efficient service over these years.  

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Bournemouth Echo: David Squire, managing director of Yellow BusesDavid Squire, managing director of Yellow Buses

“We are very sorry if you are one of the customers we’ve let down in the last few weeks. We know that we have fallen short on delivering the service you expect.  

“To ensure that we can stabilise our network and get you back travelling, we are introducing a timetable change from Sunday July 24 which reduces our commitment on route 3.  

“This will enable us to redistribute our driving staff across the network to fill some of the gaps. 

“Despite continuing to recruit, we fear that we may need to take further action in September, however, we will address this closer to the time. 

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Bournemouth Echo: A Yellow Bus became stuck after drivers parked their cars on double yellow linesA Yellow Bus became stuck after drivers parked their cars on double yellow lines

“We ask that you all continue to bear with us as we rebuild our business following two very challenging years.” 

David Squire, managing director at Yellow Buses, said the situation at Yellow Buses is a lot better now than it was, as they are now only 12 staff short.  

“We’ve had a big recruitment campaign which has started to bear fruit,” Mr Squire said. 

“All bus operators are finding things difficult as they struggle to recruit staff. 

“This is compounded by all the problems we've seen about issues at the weekends – the volume of cars and congestion. 

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“Things have eased dramatically now with the ending of schools and we've done some service changes. 

“Things have changed completely in this post-covid world. We don’t think that anybody will ever get back to the level of transport that was happening in 2019. 

“The apology wasn’t intended to spark any concern, it was just to apologise to our customers and thank them for bearing with us.”