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A shortage of bus drivers has hit services across the country as drivers flock to haul HGVs for more money.

Routes have been cancelled in Scotland, the North East and South West due to the mass exodus.

Industry body the Confederation of Public Transport said the sector was short of 4,000 workers.

It comes as a shortage of lorry drivers left Britain in turmoil as delivery rates plummeted leading to major disruption.

The country has been battling stock shortages in supermarkets, chaos at abattoirs and trouble accessing goods from abroad.

Meanwhile huge towers of shipping containers filled with Christmas goods were stacked 100ft high in Felixstowe this morning.

The port has become severely congested in recent weeks and is struggling to cope with the volume of cargo passing through, due to a shortage of lorry drivers.

Routes have been cancelled in Scotland, the North East and South West due to the mass exodus (file photo)

Routes have been cancelled in Scotland, the North East and South West due to the mass exodus (file photo)

Routes have been cancelled in Scotland, the North East and South West due to the mass exodus (file photo)

Industry body the Confederation of Public Transport said the sector was short of 4,000 workers (file photo)

Industry body the Confederation of Public Transport said the sector was short of 4,000 workers (file photo)

Industry body the Confederation of Public Transport said the sector was short of 4,000 workers (file photo)

Bus drivers have been flocking to jobs with haulage firms as HGV operators when companies were desperate and were handing out large signing on bonuses.

Vacancies skyrocketed to more than double what they were in 2019, when 97,000 people worked in the sector.

The CPT, which represents National Express and Stagecoach, said the shortages were being felt across the UK but stressed not all services and routes were affected.

A spokesman told National World: ‘The vast majority of services are continuing to run as normal.

‘We know that disruption is frustrating for passengers, and operators are communicating any changes to services so people can plan their journeys in advance and have the confidence to travel by bus.’

They said the industry had put in place plans to hire new workers but said they were being put off due to delays in sorting licences.

The CPT urged the government to ensure training them was as ‘streamlined and efficient as possible’.

Containers are stacking up at Felixstowe, Britain's biggest container port, in yet another pre-Christmas crisis emerging today as it is taking ten days instead of five for each one to be moved due to a lack of HGV drivers and port staff

Containers are stacking up at Felixstowe, Britain's biggest container port, in yet another pre-Christmas crisis emerging today as it is taking ten days instead of five for each one to be moved due to a lack of HGV drivers and port staff

Containers are stacking up at Felixstowe, Britain’s biggest container port, in yet another pre-Christmas crisis emerging today as it is taking ten days instead of five for each one to be moved due to a lack of HGV drivers and port staff

Maersk, the world's largest shipping firm, says it is diverting bigger ships away from the UK due to the delays at the dockside because it is quicker to avoid Felixstowe and move goods via France to Dover or to smaller UK ports such as Hull

Maersk, the world's largest shipping firm, says it is diverting bigger ships away from the UK due to the delays at the dockside because it is quicker to avoid Felixstowe and move goods via France to Dover or to smaller UK ports such as Hull

Maersk, the world’s largest shipping firm, says it is diverting bigger ships away from the UK due to the delays at the dockside because it is quicker to avoid Felixstowe and move goods via France to Dover or to smaller UK ports such as Hull

Meanwhile huge towers of shipping containers filled with Christmas goods were stacked 100ft high in Felixstowe this morning.

The port has got severely congested in recent weeks and was struggling to cope with the volume of cargo passing through, due to a shortage of lorry drivers.

The average shipping container which arrives at Felixstowe is spending more than nine days at the port before it is collected, which is double compared to last year.

A shortage of HGV drivers means there are less container collections and they were down around 20 percent last month, creating a backlog of 7,500 containers.

There are also labour shortages at the port, with not enough staff to lift the containers on and off the ships.

Ikea and Nestle are among the huge businesses that say their products are being snarled up due to a lack of HGV drivers that is hitting all parts of British life

Ikea and Nestle are among the huge businesses that say their products are being snarled up due to a lack of HGV drivers that is hitting all parts of British life

Ikea and Nestle are among the huge businesses that say their products are being snarled up due to a lack of HGV drivers that is hitting all parts of British life

Management at the port were considering turning vessels away unless the situation improves.

A spokesman said: ‘The pre-Christmas peak combined with haulage shortages, congestion at inland terminals and poor vessel schedule reliability has resulted in a build-up of containers at the port.’

Paul Davey, of the Port of Felixstowe, added: ‘I think we’re getting on top of it but it’s not we as a Port, it’s the supply chain and the biggest problems are not here in Felixstowe.’

Felixstowe deals with just under 40 per cent of all the containers which are sent to and from the UK.

Adam Searle, managing director of CP Transport, which operates 45 lorries out of Felixstowe, said the situation was a ‘nightmare.’

He said: ‘It is a definite nightmare. My guys in the office are pulling their hair out every single day and are working extended hours just to try and deliver what our customers need.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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