Bus users in Chester face a difficult day tomorrow as Arriva drivers stage a 24 hour strike.
The strike will get under way at 3.30am on Thursday (October 19) and this is due to be the first of three days of industrial action this month with further strikes planned for October 23 and 30.
During these times there will be no planned Arriva bus services operating within Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Cheshire, except for services running out of Chester depot and services into Chester from Wrexham and Rhyl.
More than 2,000 drivers and engineers at the firm’s North West depots will walk out after last-ditch pay talks broke down.
Union Unite has called Arriva’s pay offer “pitiful” but Arriva insists it is offering a “fair pay deal”.
Arriva customers with pre-paid tickets travelling in Merseyside will be able to use them on the Merseyrail network on all three strike days. Furthermore, all Arriva tickets will be accepted on Stagecoach Quality Network Routes.
Arriva urges all customers to check one of the following outlets before they travel:
Customers can follow Arriva on Twitter on @arrivanorthwest and Facebook @northwestarriva for further information about the services relating to the strike dates.
Customers can also enquire about their local bus service by contacting Arriva North West customer services on 0344 800 44 11.
Customers with pre-paid tickets travelling in Merseyside can check the Merseyrail website for route options: https://www.merseyrail.org/
Customers can also check details about the Stagecoach Quality Network Routes on the Merseytravel website: https://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/travelling-round/timetables/pages/bus-timetables.aspx.
Phil Stone, managing director for Arriva North West, said: “It is disappointing that following a further meeting with Unite and GMB and two improved offers being made they are proceeding with disruptive strike action. We believe that we have tabled a fair pay deal for our drivers in the region.
“Arriva North West wholeheartedly apologises to our customers for the disruption this strike action will cause to their journeys. However we can confirm that Arriva customers with pre-paid tickets travelling in Merseyside will be able to use them on the Merseyrail network, and that all Arriva tickets will be accepted on the Stagecoach Quality Network Routes.
“We remain committed to working together with Unite and GMB to reach a mutually acceptable outcome, however any pay increase has to be sustainable for the business going forward.
“We are urging our trade union colleagues to reconsider their position and get back round the negotiating table and call off the strike action that will unnecessarily disrupt many thousands of passengers.”