busBus services on the Isle of Man could be cut during the TT races due to a shortage of drivers, the infrastructure minister has said.

Tim Crookall told the House of Key more than 150 Bus Vannin journeys had been cancelled since 14 May because of staff illness and vacancies.

Changes to the TT timetable would have to reflect “the amount of drivers we have”, he added.

Thousands of fans are due to arrive for the event, which starts on 29 May.

Mr Crookall said an amended festival timetable would be released soon, but warned “we can only provide what services we can with the drivers we have at any one time”.

Bus Vannin was currently up to 12 drivers short as a result of a combination of high sickness levels and people retiring or leaving, he added.

Rob Callister MHK raised concerns over a potential reduction in services for the visiting fans, while Daphne Caine MHK questioned whether staff were declining to do overtime, as more cancellations were taking place at the weekend.

In response, Mr Crookall said the drivers had a “right to work to their contract” but hoped those who were able to would volunteer to help service routes during the “crunch time” of TT.

He said an ongoing review of routes could see some services cut altogether in the longer-term if staff were not available to cover the journeys.

Source: bbc.co.uk