Trade union Unite has announced strike action that is set to impact several bus routes in west London and other parts of the capital.
The strikes are scheduled for two days in November and four days in December, which will result in little to no bus services on the affected routes.
Bus drivers employed by RATP Dev Transit London went on strike on Friday 10 and are planning to again on Monday 13 November, as well as on Friday 1 December, Monday 4 December, and between Friday 22 and Saturday 23 December. This industrial action is expected to affect up to eight bus routes, causing significant disruptions for commuters.
During the strikes, it is estimated that there will be little or no service on the affected routes between approximately 05:00 on strike days and 06:00 the following day. As a result, other local bus, Tube, and rail services in the affected areas may experience higher levels of congestion.
Despite the disruptions, Transport for London (TfL) has assured the public that the majority of London's bus network will continue to operate normally on the affected days. Additionally, alternative bus routes will serve many of the affected roads. TfL is making every effort to minimise the impact of the strike action, but customers are strongly advised to check for updates before traveling and allow extra time for their journeys.
The impacted routes, accounting for approximately 1.5% of bus services across London, all originate from Westbourne Park Garage. The bus routes affected by the strikes include routes 13 (24hr), 23 (24hr), 28, 218, 295 (24hr), 414, 452, and N28. However, it is important to note that a normal service is expected to operate on all other bus routes in London.
TfL is urging Unite and RATP Dev Transit London to engage in constructive dialogue and reach a resolution to the ongoing dispute. The organisation recognises the inconvenience caused to commuters and emphasizes the importance of collaboration to minimise disruptions to the public transport network.
Affected passengers and commuters are advised to stay informed about the strike action, alternative travel options, and any updates from TfL as the situation develops.
Louise Cheeseman, TfL's Director of Buses, said: "If this action goes ahead there will still be travel options for people in west London and other parts of the capital. Other routes may be busier than normal and we're encouraging everyone who might be affected to plan ahead, allow extra time for their journeys and check before they travel using our website or the TfL Go app.
"We encourage both parties to find a solution to this dispute to avoid disruption to Londoners. We're sorry for any disruption to people's journeys."