The Arriva bus drivers strike in the North West will continue into next week.
Drivers took industrial action on Wednesday saying they are chasing “a fair wage” in the face of rising inflation.
Arriva says it is “committed to getting our bus drivers back to work and buses back on the road” as it called on the Unite and GMB unions to call off the strike action.
No date for when services will resume has yet been decided.
An Arriva spokesperson said: “We are disappointed for all our customers to confirm that the strike will be continuing into next week, with no date yet for services being resumed.
“We remain committed to getting our drivers back to work and buses back on the road as soon as possible.
“We once again ask the union to call off the action and let our people vote on the latest 8.5% pay offer.”
Arriva North West bus drivers began industrial action as they campaigned for better pay with their intention to strike from 2am on Wednesday 20th July.
During this industrial action there will be no planned Arriva bus services operating within Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Cheshire, except for local Macclesfield services which will all run with the exception of service 38.
Arriva customers with pre-paid tickets travelling in Cheshire will be able to use them on buses operated by D&G Buses, visit https://www.dgbus.co.uk/ for service details.
Wales services and services running out of Chester depot and into Chester from Wrexham and Rhyl are unaffected and will continue to operate.
Arriva urges all customers to check one of the following outlets before travelling:
- Arriva on Twitter @arrivanorthwest and Facebook @northwestarriva for further information about the services relating to the strike dates.
- Phone enquiries about local bus service and tickets to Arriva customer services on 0344 800 44 11.
An Arriva bus drivers spokesperson in Southport contacted Stand Up For Southport to say: “As you may or may not be aware Arriva drivers in Merseyside and the North West are on continuous strike action against their employer from 02:00 Wednesday 20th July.
“I would kindly ask you to support the drivers on the picket lines at Canning Road and Eastbank Street.
“The drivers will be more than willing to engage in conversation regarding the reasons why they have took to the picket line as a last resort to try to secure a fair deal from their employer.
“Arriva drivers fully understand that this will have a major impact on the communities lives we serve over the coming days and maybe weeks with getting to work, hospital appointments and days out especially during the school holidays and want this resolved as quick as we can.
“So don’t listen to the company propaganda that the drivers are greedy, they just want a fair wage, so if you see them show your support.”
Howard Farrall, North West & Wales Area Operating Director for Arriva UK Bus Said:
“We are very disappointed that we were unable to reach an agreement with Unite and GMBy.
“Our people play a hugely important role keeping Merseyside moving and they fully deserve a fair pay rise – especially with the cost-of-living increasing so much.
“It’s why despite the significant pressures on the bus sector with increasing costs and passenger numbers still at below pre-pandemic levels, we have offered our people a generous pay rise of 8.5% – an increase far higher than most workers are receiving from their employers at a time of considerable economic pressure.”
Arriva says that the offer would see bus drivers in Merseyside receive an hourly rate of £14.67 – the highest rate of major operators in the North West of England and an offer higher than Unite has recommended for approval with another operator in the City Region.
Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “Arriva bus workers play a crucial role in keeping the North West moving.
“This dispute has been fermenting for years as bus drivers have seen their hard work taken for granted and rates of pay steadily eroded.
“Unite remains committed to resolving the dispute at the earliest possible opportunity and it will embark on fresh negotiations any time, any place and anywhere, provided Arriva is prepared to make an improved offer.”