Covid absences predicted to disrupt Stagecoach bus services

Stagecoach Credit Leon Frampton

Stagecoach bosses have warned that Covid-related absences could affect bus services next week.

The bus operator confirmed that staff absence is on the rise due to the Omicron variant.

Stagecoach managing director Joel Mitchell said “We’re already seeing absence rates up by about 200 per cent, and this comes on top of an existing vacancy gap across the bus transport sector in general.

“Despite this, we are continuing to operate the majority of bus services for our communities and we expect the current challenges to be short-term. However, if colleague absence continues to increase in the days ahead, we may need to make some temporary adjustments to timetables.

“While less people are travelling on the bus network overall and many people work from home, it is important that for those who do need to travel to check for updates on our Twitter feed @StagecoachSE and allow extra time for their journey.”

Earlier this month driver shortages, the impact of Brexit and covid were blamed for the increasing number of cancelled bus services in Thanet and further afield.


  1. This whole pandemic is causing lots of chaos now, there are people who should be getting tested and/or isolating, but don’t bother, and there are others who just take time off from work, and pretend to have the virus, or pretend to be isolating.

    Not just Stagecoach, but many, many, small and large companies, including councils, and NHS.

    • Many people are exasperated with the whole thing to be honest. Our government cannot be trusted, gives out confusing information, doublespeak and hypocrisy. Are you really surprised?

      With most of the country have been vaccinated, it’s hardly a crisis.

      The loop bus runs every 15 minutes; in some parts of the country you’ll be lucky to see 2 buses per day, and a less frequent service due to this current crisis is not going to mean Armageddon.

      Perhaps you should just get on with your life rather than forum lurking.

      • Stagecoach runs far more, less frequent, buses than The Loop. You’re not another Thanet-ite who considers Sheppey and Ashford to be in West Kent, are you?

      • Oh look, another pillock, this time Woodchippers ca hurt, doesn’t even bother yo read the article and replies properly.

        The reply that you criticised, didn’t say it was Stagecoach, or anything about lack of buses.

      • It’s great to have people like “Woodchippers can hurt” on here responding to comments, otherwise there wouldn’t be anyone to laugh at.

        By the way, I also think Boris is a burke, and can’t be trusted. But, he does hold good parties. There’s no party like a Tory party.

        • “… We may need to make some temporary adjustments to timetables.”

          That spells longer waits at bus stops.

          But then, and like so many others, another not so stunning ignoramus mistyping his real name.

          Happy new Year !!

  2. Why are people being so insulting to “Woodchipper”? (We do still have a crisis though.) What is so amusing about his/her comment?

  3. The situation with the buses is a proxy for every other service we come to rely on and expect.
    From buses and trains to delivery drivers and NHS staff.
    Things are not going to get better for a while yet. It is in all our interests to take care of ourselves and each other.

      • That’s fine, if your journey is only a few tens of km. But if you want to get to Canterbury or London or further, then a bus or train would be nice.
        And it’s not just bus drivers that are being affected. Every aspect of the world of work is seeing a big rise in staff absences due to covid: delivery drivers, doctors, fire fighters, teachers, nurses …

        • Yep. A good thing in the long run. Much better to get most infections out of the way now rather than prolonging things for months longer via silly lockdowns.

          As for delivery drivers, I ordered two items from Amazon since Christmas, choosing the free 4-day delivery option each time: both packages turned up within 24 hours. It’s amazing what good management and organisation can achieve.

          • It can’t achieve anything, if your staff are off sick.
            And a problem with “get(ting) most infections out of the way now rather than prolonging things for months longer via silly lockdowns” is that (according to the NHS) the NHS will be brought to its knees.

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