Arriva bus strikes: Where and when are bus drivers on strike in September and how are services affected?

Services disrupted across Kent, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire as almost 1,000 staff walk out over 10% pay offer

Hundreds of staff on Arriva buses are staging two days of strikes this week in a dispute over pay.

Around 600 members of the Unite union in Kent are staging a walkout after its members rejected a pay offer from the transport firm.

Staff from Gillingham, Maidstone, Gravesend and Tunbridge Wells have all walked out on Monday 5 September, with more action planned for later in the month.

A further 300 staff in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire are also on strike on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 September, causing disruption to Arriva bus services across the counties. Workers at Arriva’s Luton, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Ware, Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead depots will not return to work until Wednesday 7 September.

Arriva bus servicse across four counties are affected by the latest strikes

The strikes in the south-east of England follow similar action by Arriva staff in the North West and Yorkshire.

When and where are the Arriva strikes?

The current round of strikes is taking place on Monday 5 in Kent and on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 September, in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire

Further strikes are planned for the Kent depots on 16, 20 and 30 September unless the union and Arriva can reach a settlement.

Which services are affected?

In Kent, most services are disrupted, with only a limited number of routes operating.

There is a limited service between Tunbridge Wells Hospital and Maidstone Hospital, and limited operation on the Northfleet Fastrack.

In Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, a normal town service will operate in Leighton Buzzard on routes D1, 32/33/34/35 and there will be a limited service on service A between Luton Interchange and Luton Airport only. Services 13 and 14 will run as normal on Monday 5 September while buses in Aylesbury will be limited to school only journeys on services 150, 250, 280, and 500.

In Ware, Hertfordshire, there will be a limited service around school times on services 310 and 331.

A full list of affected services can be found on Arriva’s website.

Why are bus drivers on strike?

Unite members have gone on strike over a pay offer that the union calls a real-terms pay cut.

Arriva has offered staff a pay rise of 10%, which the union says does not match current inflation of 12.3%.

Unite says that Arriva and its parent company Deutsche Bahn are “extremely profitable” and has accused the transport giant of funnelling money out of the UK to pay dividends to the German government.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva and Deutsche Bahn are incredibly wealthy companies. They can fully afford to give our members a decent pay rise but have chosen not.

“Unite’s members have rightly rejected a real terms pay cut masquerading as a pay rise and they will be receiving the union’s total support throughout this dispute.”

What has Arriva said?

Arriva insists that it is working with the union to reach a settlement and apologised to passengers affected by the strikes.

In a statement, it said:  “Despite further negotiations with our Union partner this week, we are extremely disappointed for all our customers to confirm that industrial action will take place.

“Arriva remains committed to resolving the industrial action and would encourage Unite to ballot on this latest pay offer. We will continue to keep our customers and stakeholders updated, we apologise for the inconvenience this will cause across the region, particularly as our schools return for a new academic year.”