Action on lack of bus drivers

More than 220 bus drivers have been trained in the past 12 months to help meet a regional shortage.

The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority has provided funding to help recruit drivers for First Bus and other operators using some of the £105 million secured by Metro Mayor Dan Norris for the Bus Service Improvement Plan.

Mr Norris says getting on top of the driver shortage with operators is “key” to building a sustainable West of England bus network, along with attracting passengers back on the region’s buses.

Passenger numbers in the West of England grew by 17% last year.

• Mr Norris, a former Labour MP,  has been selected to contest the Hanham and North East Somerset seat at the general election. He has said that if he is successful, there will be a “period of overlap” with his Metro Mayor role if he is elected.