Dozens of south London routes to be hit by bus drivers’ strike

There’s more disruption coming on the buses, with nearly 30 routes across south London likely to be affected when around 1,000 drivers based at Croydon, Brixton, Norwood and Thornton Heath garages stage three days of strike action in May.

Service disruption: South Croydon bus garage was shut down during the previous strike days in March

It follows a two-day strike that took place at the end of March.

The Unite union members working for bus operator Arriva have been balloted and the planned strike days will take place on Wednesday, May 11, followed by Monday and Tuesday, May 16 and 17.

“The bus strikes scheduled for May will undoubtedly cause disruption and delays across London, but this dispute is a direct result of Arriva’s high-handed treatment of its drivers,” said union regional official John Murphy said.

“Further strikes can still be avoided provided that Arriva returns to the negotiating table and makes an improved offer that members find acceptable.”

Unite also claims that ongoing service cuts to the Transport for London bus network are reducing driver earnings as there are fewer services for them to operate.

Arriva London has doubled its original pay offer to a 3per cent increase, but the unions say this still leaves their members facing a real-terms pay cut with inflation at 8per cent.

Other workers employed directly by Transport for London received a 8.4per cent pay rise earlier this year.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham called the Arriva offer “unacceptable”.

United action: union boss Sharon Graham

She said: ” Arriva’s drivers are being pummelled by a double whammy of reduced earnings and rising living costs. Arriva must think again and pay its drivers a fair wage.

“Our members at Arriva will be receiving Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved and the bus drivers receive an offer which meets their expectations.”

An Arriva spokesperson said the firm was “deeply disappointed” by the strike action.

Croydon, with a high number of Arriva-operated routes, will be particularly affected by the strike action.

The following routes will be affected:

  • 2: Marylebone-West Norwood
  • 60: Streatham-Old Coulsdon
  • 64: Thornton Heath Pond-New Addington (Vulcan Way)
  • 137: Marble Arch-Streatham Hill
  • 157: Morden-Crystal Palace
  • 166: Croydon-Epsom General Hospital
  • 194: Croydon-Lower Sydenham
  • 198: Thornton Heath-Shrublands
  • 202: Blackheath-Crystal Palace
  • 249: Anerley-Clapham Common
  • 250: Brixton-Croydon
  • 255: Balham-Pollards Hill
  • 264: Tooting (St George’s)-Croydon
  • 289: Elmers End-Purley
  • 312: Norwood Junction-South Croydon
  • 405: Croydon-Redhill
  • 410: Wallington-Crystal Palace
  • 412: West Croydon-Purley
  • 417: Clapham Common-Crystal Palace
  • 450: Lower Sydenham-Croydon
  • 466: Addington Village-Caterham-on-the-Hill
  • 468: Elephant and Castle (Borough Road)- South Croydon
  • 612: Selsdon Library-Wallington Grammar
  • 627: Worcester Park-Wallington High
  • 645: Waddon-Purley Cross
  • 685: Hamsey Green-Selsdon
  • 689: Croydon-Orchard Park High School
  • N2: Marylebone-Crystal Palace
  • N137: Oxford Circus-Streatham Hill

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2 Responses to Dozens of south London routes to be hit by bus drivers’ strike

  1. Kathy Smith says:

    Solidarity to the striking bus drivers. They worked all through Covid seeing many of their colleagues dying to keep transport going for emergency workers. Now they are expected to take a pay cut. Keep going with your fight.

  2. Ian Kierans says:

    Perhaps avid transport watchers may remember this from before Covid

    Rigorous fatigue risk management systems will be required for any company to operate London buses under new contracts next year
    We will ensure that all managers in bus garages have undertaken fatigue training
    We will make £500,000 available to help operators undertake further work to establish the most effective interventions to reduce fatigue
    All driver rosters will be reviewed by operators against best practice to reduce the risk of fatigue
    With operators, we will ensure driver representatives are given the opportunity to be trained in fatigue
    There will be a greater focus on the health and well-being of drivers
    We will foster a more open and honest culture across the industry

    3 Years and a Pandemic later and we are still talking about the same Driver Fatigue?

    So what has not changed? Maybe Arriva are facing financial difficulty along with pressure from Deutsche Bann its owner perhaps? As are the other Bus Operating Companies.

    One has to remember that every Public Transport operator gets a Government Subsidy –
    Except TfL. Dear old Boris once more the Guilty Party – Pun totally intended.

    That subsidy he so cavalierly gave up as Mayor may come back to bite in our local elections as no buses from the south go to anywhere.
    Now what other Tory MP involved in Transport also managed to not represent their constituency a few years back with the train saga?
    I will say that TfL and its Commissioner has worked to try to improve matters but perhaps quite a few hundred million being sucked out each year is at best unhelpful?
    Perhaps Mr Perry might like to comment on that before election day?

    However one has only to stand at Lidl on the London Road to understand Driver Fatigue. Amazing how Public Realm enhancements can have such a detrimental, dangerous and toxic effect. One would lay odds that the shit pumped out from daily congestion due to that very for-seeable blunder far surpasses Viridors plant and the LTN just added to that cocktail.

    Emergency vehicles delayed, people severely disabled due to Ambulance delays, Road rage, pedestrian rage, shopkeepers rage and all because two buses are unable to bypass each other by Lidl. Watching the unwarranted abuse of Bus Drivers by their fellow humans every single day by drivers pedestrians and passangers makes one wonder about humanity

    All I can say is that if ever a Bus driver deserved a raise – it is those having to drive that road many times daily.

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