Update: London bus drivers begin 24-hour strike

Bus drivers across London are striking today.

Bus drivers across London are striking today. - Credit: PA WIRE

Bus drivers across London are taking part in a 24-hour strike today over pay and working conditions, causing significant disruptions.

Members of the Unite union at 18 bus companies walked out late last night, leaving about 44 out of 643 bus routes to operate today, including the 66, 346, 370, 375 and the 499 which are running as normal.

The bus network carried around a third of its normal number of passengers this morning, with a large numbers of commuters choosing to walk or cycle short distances to work.

Abellio and Stagecoach and Tower Transit are just a few of the bus companies that are being affected by strike action.

Wayne King, London regional officer for Unite, said: “London’s bus operators have raked in millions in profits while driving down pay and refusing to tackle pay inequality on the capital’s buses.

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“As bus company directors enjoy lottery style salaries, bus drivers doing the same job on the same route are being pitted against one another on different rates of pay.

“Strike action is the last resort.

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“We’ve been forced into this position by the operators’ refusal to even meet with us.

“Passengers sitting side by side on the same route expect to pay the same fare, so why shouldn’t drivers expect to be paid the same rate?

“The bus operators need to stop pleading poverty in defending pay inequality and collectively start negotiating about a fairer deal for London’s bus workers.”

Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said it was “extremely disappointing” the strike had been threatened.

He said: “Bus drivers’ pay and conditions are a matter for the bus companies and Unite to discuss, as it has been for 20 years, and we would urge them to seek a swift and fair resolution for the sake of our passengers.”

For more details on bus routes today, click here

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