UPDATE AT 22:00: Customer reports via Twitter of long waits and busses that aren’t taking any passengers.
Stuck at cross street for half an hour now, no buses taking passengers. Not a fan. #busstrike
— Melissa Blaha (@MelissaBlaha) November 29, 2012
Looks like a walk back to Stokey for me. #BusStrike
— doreen (@londondear) November 29, 2012
No further updates from Unite union or Arriva at this time. The strike is still scheduled to end at 2:59 AM tomorrow morning, November 30, 2012. Arriva apologises to passengers for any inconvenience the strike has caused, and urges them to consult Tfl for disruptions on certain routes. Delay times can be checked with mobile devices via the Tfl countdown service here: m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk. ELL is signing out for the evening.
UPDATE AT 12.55: Arriva say they are running 18 per cent of their scheduled services today. They criticise Unite for not holding a ballot after their more recent pay offer a couple of weeks ago.
Their statement reads: “We regret the inconvenience the union’s decision will mean for our passengers and apologise for the disruption caused. Our intention from the outset has been to have open and meaningful discussions with the trade union and that continues to be the case today.”
TfL has called on Unite and Arriva to resolve the dispute to keep passenger disruption to a minimum.
TfL advises passengers to consider walking and cycling for shorter journeys and to allow more time for travel on underground lines in North London that have become more crowded. Updates are being released on @TfLBusAlerts
They say they have deployed extra staff into affected areas.
There is no service on the 73 bus route.
UPDATE AT 11.05: TfL has confirmed that the 38 and 73 are running a severely limited service today.
Unite the Union have said the strike is “very well supported” with “the vast majority out on strike”.
More than 2,000 Arriva bus drivers in the Unite union are on strike, affecting routes in ELL boroughs and the north and central London.
The strike will last for 24 hours, beginning at 3am Thursday and ending at 2:59am on Friday.
Arriva is the largest single bus operator in London and several routes serving Hackney and Tower Hamlets will be affected, including: 29, 38, 73, 78, 135, 253, 318, 325, 349 and 393.
Night buses were expected to run normally through the early hours of Thursday morning, but will be “severely disrupted” from Thursday night until Friday morning, according to Transport for London.
The strike follows Arriva North’s decision not to award a percentage pay increase to its workers, as they enter a third year of pay freezes in April 2013.
Peter Kavanagh, regional secretary for Unite, said: “Christmas is approaching in one of the most expensive cities in the world and London’s biggest single bus operator is rewarding its drivers with a second year of percentage pay freezes. Arriva’s owners have made hundreds of millions in profits this year, so it’s no wonder staff are taking strike action against their scrooge employer.”
Transport for London has urged affected passengers to walk, cycle or take alternative transport during the strike. Updates will be available across multiple channels, including the TfL website, via Twitter and on radio and television broadcasts.
Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport has urged Unite and Arriva to reach a resolution before strike action begins. Daniels said:: “We are sorry that some bus passengers will have their journeys disrupted tomorrow. We are working hard behind the scenes to provide as much detailed information and assistance to passengers as possible to minimise this disruption.
“We would strongly urge Unite and Arriva London North to continue with discussions to resolve this dispute and prevent further disruption to bus passengers.”