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NEWS ROUNDUP: West Yorkshire driver shortage


WEST YORKSHIRE DRIVER SHORTAGE | Shortages of bus and taxi drivers are impacting public transport in West Yorkshire – that’s according to regional transport experts.

A document, set to go before regional decision-makers, claims the usage of public transport has recovered “significantly” for weekends, suggesting passengers in the region are using the services for leisure trips, rather than for commuting.

But it added that bus operators currently vacancies for around one in ten drivers’ jobs – twice what they would normally have – and that recruiting new drivers was proving “challenging”.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Network Update stated: “The recovery of travel demand is stronger in weekend and leisure travel together with journeys to education. Many organisations are continuing to support working from home, and this is reducing peak demand especially on public transport.

“Shortages of bus, taxis and HGV drivers is having an effect both on public transport reliance and supply chains nationally and locally.”

It also claimed service reliability was impacted by the “reduced availability” of bus drivers and engineers, stating: “There are national issues regarding high driver turnover and delays in PSV licences which have impacted on service delivery locally.”

The report follows an announcement this week from bus operator Arriva that it was scrapping its 205 service, which operates between Dewsbury, Pudsey and Morley.

It added that work was needed to make sure fewer people used personal cars, and that “active travel”, such as walking and cycling, now appears to be more popular than before the pandemic.

The document concluded: “The general picture on bus and rail services remains one of a steady recovery as commuter demand slowly build, with the return to work following the summer break seeing increases.

“In general, recovery of the bus network continues more strongly than rail, although locally both modes are now at their busiest since before the pandemic. Usage remains higher at weekends, particularly for rail, indicating a stronger return of leisure trips and this is reflected in town / city centre footfall.”

The paper will be discussed at a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee on Friday, November 5.

(LDRS | Richard Beecham)



A new consultation is underway to deliver improvements on the A6110 Outer Ring Road between the White Rose Shopping Centre, A643 Elland Road and A58 Whitehall Road.

The ambitious plans include improvements on the A6110 outer ring road that will reduce congestion and make it safer for people to walk and cycle. The proposed improvements will also make bus services quicker and more reliable to provide a more attractive alternative to the private vehicle when travelling this route.

The enhancements are expected to be delivered in four phases taking a junction-by-junction approach. Phase one of the scheme will be at the A643/A6110 junction which is proposed to be delivered by 2024. The remaining phases will be delivered when funding becomes available.

The consultation is seeking feedback on new cycle tracks, bus priority measures including bus lanes with junction upgrades, highway space adjustments and new pedestrian crossings with footway improvements. The scheme aims to reduce delays along this busy route improving the journeys of residents and commuters for all modes of transport.

You can have your say in the consultation which closes 5 December and read more about the plans here: https://a6110.commonplace.is/. Feedback gathered in the consultation will be used to inform proposals of the next stages of the scheme development. If you would like to speak to the team in person, a public consultation drop-in event is being held at St Peter's, Morley, Rooms Lane, Leeds, LS27 9NX, 3pm to 7pm on Monday 22 November 2021.



A glacier in West Antarctica has been formally named after the city of Glasgow to mark its hosting of the COP26 climate change conference.

The conference marks a key moment in human history for our response to climate change, especially given the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic.

The Glasgow Glacier is one of nine areas of fast flowing ice in the Getz basin to be named after locations of major climate treaties, conferences and reports, following a request by University of Leeds scientists.

PhD Researcher Heather Selley, from Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, and an Enrichment Student at The Alan Turing Institute, identified 14 glaciers in the Getz basin of West Antarctica that are thinning and flowing more quickly into the ocean.

Her study, published in February 2021, revealed that 315 gigatonnes of ice has been lost from the Getz region over the last 25-years, adding 0.9 mm to global mean sea level – the equivalent of 126 million Olympic swimming pools of water.

To mark 42 years of collaboration on international science and climate policy decision-making, Heather requested that the nine unnamed glaciers in her study be named after the locations of major climate treaties, conferences and reports.

Five of the glaciers were previously named for US explorers, researchers and officials working in the region. The proposal was submitted by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office on behalf of the UK Government and supported by the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee. The names will now be added to the international Composite Gazetteer for Antarctica, for use on maps, charts and future publications.

Heather said: “Our study was the first to show that glaciers in this remote region of Antarctica were speeding up. The glaciers are named in chronological order, with Geneva Glacier marking the first ever climate summit in 1979 on the west of the Getz study region and Glasgow Glacier marking the COP26 on the east.

“Naming the glaciers after these locations is a great way to celebrate this international collaboration on climate change science and policy over the last 42 years. We wanted to permanently mark the outstanding effort the scientific community has put into measuring the present-day impact of climate change, and its predicted future evolution.”

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