A BUS company has said driver shortages and sickness has seen it scrap services in Winchester today.

Stagecoach South put the news out via its Twitter page on Tuesday, July 12.

It said: "Due to staff and sickness we are unable to run a full services today."

Several services were affected.

The 66 serving Winchester to Romsey was impacted in both directions this morning.

Shortages also led to some cancellations of the 64, 69 and 3 services, with Stagecoach later announcing the 5 service between Winchester and Badger Farm would not operate throughout the afternoon.

Similar issues have been seen in Basingstoke and Guildford.

This isn't the first time residents have been left frustrated by a scaled back service. In May, driver and vehicle shortages caused similar levels of disruption.

One bus driver, who did not want to be named, said: "The shortages are not just in Winchester, or just Stagecoach, it is a nationwide problem. There simply isn't enough bus drivers."

Stagecoach has admitted it is facing a short-term staffing "situation", but has insisted a recruitment drive is currently underway to solve the problem.

A spokesperson said: "As with many industries across the country, we are continuing to face a short-term staffing situation that is out of our control due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. As a result, this is having an impact on our bus services in Winchester. 

"Our team are working incredibly hard given the current circumstances to ensure the vast majority of local services are running. We are also taking proactive steps to alleviate the situation by recruiting new drivers and are focused on getting our new team members through our training programmes and on the road as soon as we can.

"We're planning changes to the network from July to improve reliability on services and will further review in September based on the number of new recruits we have for the depot."

Have been been affected by the cancellations? Get in touch at frankie.rudland@newsquest.co.uk.