Shortages of bus drivers are far higher than previously thought with vacancies at '99%' of garages, according to a union.
Unite said drivers were leaving the industry 'in droves' because of low pay and long hours.
It added the situation was 'highly disturbing' for passengers and services — and would get worse unless the workers were offered a better deal.
'Bus companies have got to stop trying to sweep driver shortages under the carpet and start tackling the fundamental problems in the industry,' Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.
'If this isn't swiftly addressed, shortages will only get worse.'
Her warning follows a survey of 500 Unite members across the UK.
Unite said that the survey showed driver shortages are 'getting worse' with 79% of those who responded saying that vacancies had increased since March 2020, when the first coronavirus lockdowns were imposed in the UK.
'This is a highly disturbing picture for passengers, who will be concerned about declining and unreliable services, especially as buses remain the most used form of public transport,' they said.
Half of those who responded revealed that their garage had lost between 20 and 40 drivers, while a fifth said it was more.
Most of those surveyed said staff shortages had led to services being cancelled.
Only 9% of those who responded said they had not seen services cancelled at their garage.
Over two fifths (43 per cent) said that cancellations were equally split between peak and off peak services.
It comes three months after the Confederation of Passenger Transport warned that a backlog of driving tests due to the pandemic had led to a shortage of drivers.
With the country also facing a shortage of HGV drivers, some bus drivers are deciding to switch vehicles and drive a lorry instead, which can currently offer better rates of pay.
Drivers' pay has been the union's main industrial issue in recent months.
They said those who responded to the survey said they believed people were leaving due to low pay (91%), working conditions (89%) and long hours (68%).
National officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: 'The survey lays bare the shortage of bus drivers in the UK. Bus operators must take these findings on board and act before an even greater number of services are cancelled due to a lack of drivers.
'Until the bus operators improve pay and conditions and reduce the long hours culture then drivers will continue to leave and new entrants will be few and far between.'
A Department for Transport spokesperson said last month: 'We are working closely with the bus sector to mitigate workforce issues, as we have done throughout the pandemic.
'The DVSA has made 50,000 more bus, coach and HGV tests available each year, and the DVLA has sped up the processing of provisional bus driving licences to around five days.'
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