Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Stagecoach working ‘round the clock’ in Highlands to recruit drivers amid timetable concerns

Stagecoach Highland has come in for criticism from users.
Stagecoach Highland has come in for criticism from users.

Stagecoach has stressed it is working “round the clock” in the Highlands to recruit drivers after concerns were raised about it failing to keep to timetables.

The bus operator said it was continuing to face challenges as a result of the pandemic and while it admitted it had to cut some services, it was trying to keep the disruption to a minimum.

The news comes just days before a national train strike which will halt all ScotRail services running in and out of Aberdeen and Inverness.

Recruitment issues are believed to be currently facing bus firms across the country.

In September last year The Press and Journal reported that First Bus in Aberdeen was recruiting agency drivers from as far as London to keep services running.

Reports of no-show buses and long waits

Councillor Duncan Macpherson, who represents the Inverness South ward, said a number of constituents had been in touch with him about buses in the Highland capital failing to turn up in recent weeks.

Mr Macpherson said: “What gives the Stagecoach bus company the right to disregard its own printed timetables and treat our Inverness public so poorly in their provision of a bus service?

Highland councillor Duncan Macpherson.

“Highland bus passengers regularly report failures of buses to turn up. And an incredibly inconsistent, hugely unreliable and hap-hazard bus service.”

He continued: “The service being provided to bus passengers in 2022, falls so far short of the minimum acceptable standard expected of a bus company.”

Mr Macpherson has had a lively debate from bus users on his social media page. 

He said he has been told of regular no-shows of buses and passengers waiting patiently for hours on end at bus stops.

Inverness bus station. Photo: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

He said: “Bus passengers are correct to point out that Stagecoach have a contractual obligation to meet with the provision of a reliable public bus service.

“Based on their personal accounts of the recent failures by Stagecoach and other emails and first hand testimonies that I’ve received recently from local constituents, the bus transport company are definitely not meeting the expected standards and should therefore be reported to the traffic commissioner.”

Limiting cancellations

A Stagecoach Highland spokesman said: “Bus networks across the UK are continuing to face challenges as a result of the pandemic, as well as changes in the labour market and the impact of rising cost inflation in the economy.

“We remain absolutely committed to working with our Scottish Government and local authority partners, as well as other stakeholders, to deliver the best networks we can for local communities, taking account of the current difficult environment and the changes we have seen in when and how people travel.

David Beaton, managing director of Stagecoach Highland in its Inverness depot. Picture by Sandy McCook.

He continued: “We are also working around the clock to recruit new drivers to address the shortages affecting the wider transport and logistics sector.

“It can take an average of 12 weeks for a professional bus driver to be fully trained and out on the road, and our training school is progressing this as speedily as possible.

“The majority of our bus services are continuing to operate, and wherever possible, we are limiting any service cancellations to the routes which offer high frequency services to ensure that any disruption is minimised.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in





Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google



Or login with

Forgotten your password? Reset it