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Union warns of travel ‘chaos’ as strikes hit five Waltham Forest bus routes

Dispute over pay for Arriva bus drivers prompts Unite members to stage walk-out on four days in June

Dozens of routes will be affected when Arriva staff strike
Dozens of routes will be affected when Arriva staff strike

Strike action on four days this month will see bus services cancelled across north and east London – including five routes in Waltham Forest.

Trade union Unite announced a series of bus strikes on Tuesday 20th, Wednesday 21st, Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th June as part of an ongoing industrial dispute with operator Arriva London North.

If the action goes ahead, little or no service is expected on the affected routes, and other local bus, tube and rail services in north and east London will be busier than usual if the action goes ahead.

Transport for London says it is “doing everything it can” to reduce the impact of the strike action but customers are advised to check before they travel and leave extra time for their journeys.

A total of 46 routes are affected, with five of these passing through Waltham Forest borough – a full list can be found at the end of this article.

On the affected routes, little or no service is expected on from the time of the first bus on Tuesday, 20th June, through until 6am on Thursday, 22nd June, when a normal service is expected to resume. The same service pattern will apply the following week. Night bus routes are also affected.

Unite itself has warned the strike action will cause “a summer of bus chaos” as 1,700 of Arriva bus drivers strike over pay. The drivers have rejected a 7% pay increase offer from the company, which Unite describes as “an effective real-terms pay cut” with UK inflation at more than 10%. Bus drivers start on pay rates of £13.65 an hour.

Arriva is owned by Deutsche Bahn, one of the largest transport companies in the world and effectively owned by the German government. Unite points out that during the last ten years, Arriva’s UK bus division has paid £560million back to Deutsche Bahn in profit and, over the last decade, Deutsche Bahn has paid dividends of £5billion to the German government.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva is an extremely wealthy company but it has got its priorities all wrong. It needs to be concentrating on paying its workers fairly rather than providing the German government with huge dividends.

“Unite is totally focussed on the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the bus drivers at Arriva will receive the union’s complete support.”

Unite regional officer Steven Stockwell said: “The strike action is set to create travel chaos across London but this dispute is totally of Arriva’s own making. It has had every chance to make our members an offer that meets their expectations but has refused to do so.”

Louise Cheeseman, TfL’s director of buses, said: “If this action goes ahead there will still be options for people to travel in North London and parts of central and East London, but other routes may be busier than normal. We’re encouraging everyone who might be affected to plan ahead, check before they travel and leave more time for their journeys. Our website is a really easy way to check your travel, whether that’s days in advance or whilst on the move.

“We encourage both parties to find a solution to this dispute to avoid disruption to Londoners.”

Full list of bus routes in north and east London affected by the strikes:

  • 19 Finsbury Park to Battersea
  • 29 Lordship Lane to Trafalgar Square
  • 34 Barnet to Walthamstow
  • 41 Tottenham Hale to Archway
  • 102 Brent Cross to Edmonton Green
  • 121 Enfield Island Village to Turnike Lane
  • 123 Lordship Lane to Ilford
  • 141 Tottenhall Road to London Bridge
  • 144 Edmonton Green to Muswell Hill
  • 149 Edmonton Green to London Bridge
  • 158 Chingford Mount to Stratford
  • 191 Brimsdown to Edmonton Green
  • 192 Enfield to Tottenham Hale
  • 221 Turnpike Lane to Edgware
  • 243 Wood Green to Waterloo
  • 259 Edmonton Green to King’s Cross
  • 279 Waltham Cross to Manor House
  • 307 Brimsdown to Barnet Hospital
  • 313 Potters Bar to Chingford
  • 318 North Middlesex Hospital to Stamford Hill
  • 329 Enfield to Wood Green
  • 340 Edgware to Harrow
  • 341 Meridian Water Station to Waterloo
  • 349 South Tottenham to Stamford Hill
  • 377 Oakwood to Ponders End
  • 675 St James Street Station to Woodbridge School (school bus)
  • W3 Finsbury Park to Northumberland Park
  • W4 Palmers Green to Tottenham Hale
  • W6 Edmonton Green to Southgate