2,000 bus drivers are planning an ‘indefinite’ strike that will affect 46 routes

The industrial action begins on October 4

India Lawrence
Written by
India Lawrence
Contributing writer
Photograph: Shutterstock

It really is the season of strikes, and there’s going to be even more travel misery for Londoners this Autumn. On October 4, 2,000 bus drivers are going to strike across 46 routes indefinitely, meaning we don’t known when it’ll end. 

This will predominantly affect buses in north London, and parts of Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Enfield, Waltham Forest, and Barnet could be devoid of double deckers on the strike days. 

The bus strike also coincides with national rail strikes on October 5, which could disrupt the London Marathon

Which bus routes are striking?

Workers from eight Arriva depots in north London including Ash Grove, Barking, Clapton, Edmonton, Enfield, Palmers Green, Tottenham and Wood Green will strike. 

The following routes could all stop running entirely: 

19, 29, 34, 38, 41, 73, 78, 102, 121, 123, 141, 144, 149, 150, 158, 175, 191, 192, 221, 242, 243, 253, 254, 259, 279, 313, 318, 325, 329, 340, 341, 349, 368, 377, 675, N19, N29, N38, N41, N73, N242, N253, N279, W3, W4, W6.

Will there be other strikes?

Separate strikes planned in west London were postponed last week after the news of the Queen’s death. It’s not yet been announced when those will take place. If the west London strikes are scheduled for the same day as the north London action, we could see one in five London buses affected. 

Why are bus workers striking?

Members of the Unite and Arriva unions are planning the continuous industrial action over pay. Union members have rejected a 11.2 percent pay rise that they’ve been offered, as due to inflation and rising living costs they say this will result in a real-terms pay cut for workers. The union is asking for a pay rise of at least 12.3 percent, which would be inline with inflation. 

Steve Stockwell, Unite regional officer, said: ‘Arriva has totally failed to address the strength of feeling among our members as they see their rates of pay eroded. The company needs to return to the negotiating table with an offer which meets workers’ reasonable expectations.’

Operations Director for Arriva UK Bus London, Alex Jones, said: ‘Any pay settlement must be affordable and strike action is counter-productive, harms the communities and customers we serve, and damages bus travel at a time when we should all be focused on building recovery from the pandemic. 

‘We are continuing discussions with Unite, with the aim of securing a positive outcome that delivers a fair and affordable pay rise for bus workers across the region.’

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