In Depth

London bus strikes: industrial action postponed

Two 24-hour bus strikes planned for Friday and Monday have been called off

London bus

The Unite union has postponed two bus strikes that were planned by London bus workers for this Friday and next Monday.

The Union said that the strikes had been called off as an "act of goodwill" to help facilitate talks with London's bus operators, the Evening Standard reports.

Unite regional officer Wayne King said: "The ball is firmly in the court of London’s bus companies. They have a duty to London’s 6.8 million bus passengers to join us in collective talks to end the pay inequality and pay chaos on London’s buses.

The union leader added: "A failure to do so will mean that strike action and the disruption caused by the last two strongly supported strikes will be back on the cards."

Second walkout planned for Friday

10 February

Transport for London announced today that the 24-hour bus strike planned for Friday 13 February is likely to go ahead. 

Significant travel disruption is expected throughout the capital as bus drivers begin the second of three planned walkouts after failing to come to a pay agreement with Transport for London. The first strike took place on Thursday last week.

TfL sent an email to bus passengers across the capital today confirming the industrial action.

Thousands of drivers will join the strike on Friday and will also walk out on Monday 16 February as part of a longstanding row over differences in pay. 

"I am very sorry that the leadership of Unite are threatening to further disrupt the journeys of bus passengers, especially given that only 16 per cent of the bus drivers voted for strike action," Transport for London's s director of buses, Mike Weston told The Independent last week.

The union, however, disputes Weston's claims, saying its members have been "working tirelessly" to come to an agreement with bosses in order to prevent the "inevitable disruption".

Unite accuses TFL of paying drivers different rates for the same hours on identical routes, saying pay can fluctuate by over £3 an hour. "We urge London's bus operators to see sense and collectively engage in talks to give London's bus workers a fair deal," said Unite's Wayne King. TfL says pay differences reflect experience.

Passengers are advised to plan alternative routes to avoid the disruption. Transport for London says it will deploy extra Barclay's bicycles where they are most needed, and extra River Bus services between Woolwich and Embankment will be in operation.

Which services will be affected?
  • Abellio (Abellio London and Abellio West London)
  • Arriva (Arriva North and Arriva South)
  • CT Plus (Hackney Community Transport)
  • Go Ahead (Blue Triangle, Docklands, London General, London Central, Metrobus)
  • London Sovereign
  • London United
  • Metroline (Metroline and Metroline West)
  • Stagecoach (East London Bus & Coach Company, Selkent)
  • Tower Transit

However, a number of bus routes in the capital will remain unaffected by the strikes. These are:

  •  66 - Romford Station to Leytonstone bus station
  • 142 - Watford Junction to Brent Cross Shopping Centre
  • 160 - Catford to Sidcup Station
  • 258 - Watford Junction to South Harrow Station
  • 268 - Golders Green Station to Finchley Road
  • 288 - Queensbury to Broadfields Estate
  • 298 - Arnos Grove to Potters Bar
  • 303 - Edgware Station to Colindale
  • 305 - Edgware Station to Kingsbury Circle
  • 340 - Edgware Station to Harrow Bus Station
  • 346 - Upminster Station to Upminster Park Estate
  • 370 - Romford to Lakeside Shopping Centre
  • 375 - Romford Station to Passingford Bridge
  • 404 - Coulsdon to Caterham-on-the-Hill
  • 406 - Kingston to Epsom
  • 411 - Kingston to West Molsey
  • 418 - Kingston to Epsom
  • 428 - Erith to Bluewater Shopping Centre
  • 463 - Coulsdon South Station to Pollards Hill
  • 465 - Kingston to Dorking
  • 467 - Hook to Epsom
  • 470 - Colliers Wood Station to Epsom
  • 492 - Sidcup Station to Bluewater Shopping Centre
  • 499 - Gallows Corner to Heath Park Estate
  • 626 - Finchley Central Station to Potters Bar
  • 628 - Kingsbury to Southgate Station
  • 631 - Golders Green Station to Henrietta Barnett School
  • 641 - West Molesey to Teddington School
  • 642 - West Hendon Broadway/Edgware Station to London Academy
  • 653 - Muswell Hill Broadway to Kingsbury
  • 683 - Friern Barnet to Kingsbury
  • 688 - Southgate Station to Kingsbury
  • B12 - Erith to Joydens Wood
  • B13 - Bexleyheath Shopping Centre to New Eltham Station
  • B15 - Bexleyheath Shopping Centre to Horn Park
  • E10 - Northolt to Ealing Broadway Station
  • H2 - Golders Green Station circular (via Hampstead Garden Suburb)
  • H3 - Golders Green Station to East Finchley, Hilltop
  • H18 - Harrow Bus Station circular (via Pinner & Wealdstone)
  • H19 - Harrow Bus Station circular (via Wealdstone & Pinner)
  • K5 - Ham to Morden Station
  • S1 - Banstead to Lavender Fields
  • S3 - Sutton Hospital to Malden Manor Station
  • X26 - West Croydon to Heathrow Airport

If you are trying to take a different route to work throughout the strikes, TfL notes that:

  • Bus & Tram Pass season ticket, 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard or 16+ Zip Oyster photocard with free bus & tram travel will be accepted on Tube, DLR and London Overground services on "reasonable routes only". If you are taking an alternative route to work, show your Oyster card to a member of staff and ask to be let through the gates. TfL advises that "Customers should not touch in or out as they will be charged a pay as you go, which will not be refunded";
  • Bus & Tram Pass season tickets will also be accepted on MBNA Thames Clippers RB1 River Bus service between 06:00-10:00 and 16:00-19:00;
  • However, Bus & Tram Pass season tickets will not be accepted on National Rail services or the Emirates Air Line and One Day Bus & Tram Passes will not be accepted on any alternative services and refunds will not be given.


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