Bus strike, Tuesday 13 January

No buses

A major one-day bus strike has been called by Unite next Tuesday, about which they say this:

London’s 18 bus operators were accused of ‘burying their heads in the sand’ over ‘glaringly unfair’ pay disparities as Britain’s largest union, Unite announced that up to 27,000 bus workers would be taking part in a London wide bus strike on Tuesday 13 January.

The 24 hour stoppage follows the continued refusal by London’s 18 bus operators to enter into talks about a single London wide agreement covering bus workers’ pay, terms and conditions.

(and more).

Unite say the companies affected are:

  • Abellio South
  • Abellio West
  • Arriva North
  • Arriva South
  • Blue Triangle
  • CT Plus
  • Docklands
  • London Central
  • London General
  • London Sovereign
  • London United
  • Metrobus
  • Metroline
  • Metroline West
  • Northumberland Park
  • Selkent
  • Stagecoach
  • Tower Transit

Some of these brands are no longer used (for instance Selkent branding was replaced by parent company Stagecoach some years ago) so comparing the list to LondonBusRoutes.net’s list of routes with their operators is not an exact science, but so far as I can judge literally each and every single bus route serving Lewisham town centre and station is operated by one of the above, so next Tuesday could see absolutely no buses at all serving Lewisham!

On what will be only the second weekday of operation for Southeastern’s new timetable, commuters had better hope they haven’t hit trouble as well, or they’ll need to reach for their walking shoes, pump up their bike tyres, or put in a request to work from hom.

Further afield, Greenwich, Greenwich Peninsula, Deptford, Brockley and New Cross will all be just as badly affected as Lewisham, since all their routes are also operated by the companies above.

Arriva Kent Thameside is a rare operator not affected by this strike, so the 160 should be running as usual down in Catford (unlike all other buses in Catford) and over in my old patch the bus hub of Bexleyheath will be served by the 492, B12, B13 and B15, while the nearby 428 will also be in action.

I can’t recall such widespread, coordinated strike action on London’s buses before (particularly not wiping out all services in Lewisham!), so I wonder if the threat of this will get the employers to the negotiating table. (Good luck to Unite with achieving this!)

If not, the Lewisham Gateway site could have a day when the mystery of which bus stops are actually in use could be answered more simply than usual: none of them.

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