'It's like a lockdown': Stagecoach cancels around 100 buses in one day across Kent and Sussex

WATCH: ITV News Meridian's Joe Coshan talks to residents and businesses affected by the bus cancellations.

Residents and businesses say they're losing patience as around 100 buses were cancelled In just one day by Stagecoach across Kent and Sussex over the weekend.

Analysis by ITV Meridian found 217 buses were cancelled over a four day period - almost half of them on Saturday (October 7th) alone.

There were a spate of cancellations in September due to driver shortages following the introduction of a new timetable.

But passengers say that the problem is getting worse, rather than better.

Folkestone resident Sue Wood is unhappy with the current bus service Credit: ITV News Meridian

Sue Wood, who lives in Folkestone, says: "Our bus stop is only seven buses a day - 9 until 3, and never on a Saturday.

"We're being told when we can and can't go out, basically a form of lockdown."

Local businesses are being affected just as much as residents. Cafe owner Liz Smith said: "It has got quieter, certainly during the day. It's been quieter in the evenings downstairs in the bar too."

"Public transport is quite often the only way that a lot people of people can get around.

"It then becomes a safety issue, if people are coming into town in the evening. It's getting darker from now on, how are people going to get home?"

Butcher Billy Love has been having issues getting home himself. He said: "A couple of weeks back, I'd missed the eight minutes past going back to Canterbury and I ended up waiting an hour."

Cafe owner Liz Smith says the unreliable bus service could also have safety implications Credit: ITV News Meridian

In a statement, Stagecoach said: "We operate nearly 5,000 bus trips every day across the south east. Despite the best efforts of our local teams, there are some days where we can't cover every journey because of a shortage of available drivers.

"Over the past month, 94.5% of our scheduled bus journeys have operated, but we appreciate how disruptive it can be when a bus service is missing and we're very sorry to all our customers who are affected.

"We're working flat-out to resolve the situation. There are over 50 new colleagues at various stages in our driver training process and a good number in the recruitment pipeline.

"This means we're able to phase in new drivers all the time, and we expect an improvement in the situation over the coming weeks."

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