London bus drivers to strike across 63 routes over bank holiday weekend in row over pay


us drivers in west and south-west London will go on strike this bank holiday weekend, affecting some routes which serve Notting Hill Carnival.

Unite union members working at London United garages, which operates a bus franchise in the capital, plan to walk out on Sunday 28 and Monday 29, affecting 63 routes across west and south-west London.

It comes after bus drivers on those routes staged a 48-hour strike last weekend in a row over pay, claiming that London United was not offering sufficient pay increases to keep pace with inflation.

TfL said the affected routes would comprise around ten percent of the overall network.

Louise Cheeseman, Director of Buses at TfL, said: “There still will be options for people to travel in west and southwest London and parts of Surrey, but other routes may be busier than normal.

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“We’re encouraging everyone who is aiming to travel in and around these areas this Sunday and Monday to plan ahead, check before they travel and leave more time for their journeys.”

She added: “We encourage both parties to find a solution to this dispute to avoid disruption to Londoners.”

London United is said to be offering a pay increase of 3.6 per cent in 2022 and 4.2 per cent next year.

However, Unite has rejected this as being an effective real-terms pay cut.

Speaking earlier this month before a similar strike, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The workers’ parent company RATP is fabulously wealthy and it can fully afford to pay our members a decent wage increase.

“Unite’s members play a crucial role in keeping London moving and they are not going to accept seeing their pay constantly eroded.”

The following routes are affected: 9, 18, 33, 49, 65, 70, 71, 72, 85, 94, 105, 110, 116, 117, 148, 203, 211, 216, 220, 223, 224, 235, 258, 265, 266, 272, 281, 283, 290, 293, 371, 404, 406, 411, 418, 419, 423, 440, 465, 467, 470, 481, C1, E1, E3, H17, H22, H32, H37, H91, H98, K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, S3, N9, N18, N33, N65, N72, N266 and S3.

The strike action is set to disrupt schedules on affected services between 5am on Sunday August 28 to 5am Tuesday August 30.

Night buses on Saturday August 27 into Sunday 28 August are expected to operate as normal, but will not run on Sunday 28 August or Monday 29 August.

Passengers are being advised to seek alternative routes.

A spokesperson for RATP Dev Transit London said: “With strike action now underway, RATP Dev Transit London is deeply disappointed that Unite continues to refuse to come to the negotiating table and discuss the pay rise and bonus offer to drivers.

“The London bus market has been and continues to be extremely challenging and competitive. In this context, we have offered drivers a pay rise of 7.95% for two years plus a bonus paid in December this year, but this has been rejected. The union has refused offers of talks to resolve the pay dispute.

“RATP Dev Transit London deeply regrets the inconvenience these strikes cause to its passengers. We call on Unite to come to the negotiating table so that drivers can receive their pay rise and we can restore services to passengers.”

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