Arriva bus worker strike to hit services in Richmondshire

Arriva workers outside their County Durham depot on Sunday.

A strike by Arriva workers will affect bus services in Richmondshire this week.

Hundreds of workers are taking industrial action after rejecting a pay offer from the transport company.

The X26 service between Richmond, Catterick and Darlington is still running but on a reduced timetable, although buses scheduled to run are not arriving, users have reported.

The action is set to last until Saturday, January 12.

The strike is affecting students who get to QE Sixth Form College and Darlington College, although QE’s own buses will run as normal.

A spokesperson for QE said: “We would ask students affected to make every effort to attend college.

“If impossible, you should communicate with teachers and work from home. College buses will run as normal.”

Unite says those working for Arriva Durham County Ltd are the second lowest paid drivers of all the Arriva bus companies across the country.

The bus drivers rejected a revised package before Christmas which included 75p on the hourly rate over two years in four instalments.

The drivers are seeking an increase £1 per hour on the rates for the year starting March 2018.

Unite regional officer Bob Bolam said: “We appreciate that the public will be greatly inconvenienced by the strike, which we worked tirelessly to avoid, but at talks on Thursday the management put ‘no new money on the table’ and also threatened to slash services, if Unite carried on with the strike.

“The UK has some of the strictest rules governing industrial action in western Europe and Unite held a legitimate ballot for strike action which our members overwhelmingly voted for. Industrial democracy should be the bedrock of our employment practices.

“The Arriva management has had plenty of time to settle this dispute and their energies would be better spent in resolving it, rather than promoting anti-union diatribes, which do not help bus travellers in the North East.”

But the bus company say they were among the highest-paid drivers in the region.

An Arriva spokesperson said: “We do not underestimate the inconvenience that the disruption which the industrial action called by Unite the Union will cause to our customers across this area.

“We will be operating emergency timetables for Arriva bus services in Co Durham, the Tees Valley, East Cleveland and parts of North Yorkshire between Sunday 6th and Saturday 12th January 2019.”

To view the reduced timetable click here.

Services not listed will not be operating.