A BUS firm has announced further changes to some services as it tries to recruit drivers and tackle the shortage affecting the transport sector.

First York say the latest changes to services will come into effect on Monday (September 27) and will mean the number 12 will return to half-hourly operation on stops between York train station and Woodthorpe, but will remain at hourly intervals for the route north of the city to Monk’s Cross.

Ian Humphreys, managing director of First Bus York, said: “We are pleased to resume the higher frequency on the southern part of the service 12 route and appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers.”

Cllr Stephen Fenton of Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward, said: “I’m grateful to First Bus for listening to feedback from residents affected by the temporary changes to the number 12 service and taking steps to introduce this improved service.”

The Park & Ride network will change to a temporary frequency of every 12 minutes from the current 10 minutes. The bus company has also confirmed that an appropriate level of service to meet expected demand will be in place on the university network in preparation for the return of students for the beginning of the new academic year in early October.The firm say the frequency reductions are designed to maintain reliability and connectivity and have been agreed with transport officials at City of York Council.

Mr Humphreys said: “Our focus is on doing our best to balance the needs of different customers depending on when they use the bus network so that we minimise any disruption.These changes are temporary as we recruit and train new colleagues who are keen to join us and overcome the industry-wide shortage of drivers which is affecting many service sector businesses.

“We will look to restore frequencies as soon as our staffing situation allows.”