ELL Live Blog: Keeps you on the move as millions of commuters face delays while drivers fight for equal pay

Bus strike 2004, WikiMedia Commons

Bus strike 2004, WikiMedia Commons

Join Eastlondonlines for live coverage of the bus strike as you make your way home from work, bringing you updates throughout rush hour and helping you find new routes. Join the conversation by following and tweeting us @eastlondonlines and using #ELLBusStrike


The bus strike is tentatively scheduled to end at 4:00am on January 14. We will keep you updated if there are any changes. Safe travels!


Bus Strike Statistics tweeted by @BBCTravelAlert.

Bus Strike Statistics tweeted by @BBCTravelAlert.


As much as the bus strike has divided politicians, opinion has also been split amongst commuters who are voicing their opinions across social media. While many complained that they weren’t prepared for the news this morning, others have expressed their support for the bus drivers, or sent out reports of a reduction of pollution and traffic usually caused by the buses.



Mainline rail work at London Bridge. Canada Water may be very crowded until 19:30. London Overground commuters can also join services at Shadwell.


The queues are beginning to pop-up around the city. Make sure you know the best route home.

Long queues already piling up after work, @standardnews.

Long queues already piling up after work, @standardnews.


Here is a link to an updated version from TfL of available buses.


More images coming through Twitter of Oxford Street missing the trademark red bus, instead replaced by queues of the black cabs.



#busstrike whilst the 149, London Bridge and Edmonton Green (4th busiest) has two buses out now (up from zero earlier..) [ro]



Transport for London has provided a system to check the status of your bus, so you can find the best route home from school or work: CLICK


Support for the bus strike has been split down the centre in the London Assembly today. Richard Tracey, the Conservative Transport spokesperson has condemned the strike action as “archaic”, whereas Valerie Shawcross, the Labour counterpart, has expressed support for the strikers on social media declaring that they “deserve a fairer deal”.



The first bus strike of this scale in 30 years has been given 84 per cent support by Unite the Union members. ELL went to see the Unite protest in action, where some of the main speakers came to display their support for the protest:

Video journalist: Morgan Liesenhoff 


Passengers pay one fare to travel on London’s iconic red buses, yet there are over 80 different pay rates covering bus workers, many doing the same job or driving the same route but for different rates of pay.

-Wayne King, London regional officer for Unite


Mayor of London Boris Johnson urges people to look at TfL for the latest information on the bus strike before heading home this evening.


Rush hour is over, but we will back around 4:00pm with more information on the bus strike. Please keep sending us your pictures and comments to @eastlondonlines and use the #ELLBusStrike.


The Mayor of London gave his support for a rise in the strike ballot threshold to 40 per cent. He denied politics being put above solving the strike.


Severe weather warnings have appeared on the Met Office; a sudden drop in temperatures is expected this evening causing ice and sleet. Forecasted to begin at 6:00pm this evening, it may cause even more misery and chaos during rush hour with many Londoners having to find alternative routes home. Those travelling on the road are expected to experience additional disruptions with dangerous road conditions and low visibility due to the ice and sleet.


BBC’s Transport and Environment Correspondent Tom Edwards tweeted Mayor of London’s response to the bus strike:

BBC's Tom Edwards tweeted Mayor of London's response to bus strike, @BBCTomEdwards.

BBC’s Tom Edwards tweeted Mayor of London’s response to bus strike, @BBCTomEdwards.


Staff at London Bridge are asking commuters to find alternative routes at rush hour this evening to prevent crowding on the platforms.


A rare sight - an almost empty Oxford Street - tweeted by @EdCJ_Francis.

A rare sight – an almost empty Oxford Street – tweeted by @EdCJ_Francis.


Tower Hamlets Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, expressed his support for the bus strikers in a tweet:



Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said on the Today programme this morning: “It is very, very sensible to have different pay rates across London”.


Metroline will extend acceptance of currently valid weekly and monthly tickets by one day.


Not everyone hates this bus strike. @FanniDavid tweeted this positive thought this morning.

Not everyone hates this bus strike. @FanniDavid tweeted this positive thought this morning.


A striking bus driver talking to Vanessa Feltz on BBC London claims that, before privatisation, bus drivers were paid based on experience.


More posts from Unite the Union on Twitter asking for support from their passengers:



Looking ahead – people are nervous about their journey home during rush-hour traffic.


BBC London Breakfast show has said that the bus strike is a crowd management task for Transport for London. There have been large crowds and even people trying to jump on the backs of buses that are running this morning!


An inside look of Victoria Station tweeted by @TheBlakeMartini.

An inside look of Victoria Station tweeted by @TheBlakeMartini.


Victoria, Brixton and Liverpool Street Stations will be experiencing heavy traffic as people find alternative routes during the bus strike. Click here for travel information this morning.


Brixton Station during the Bus Strike photographed by @Martin_Abrams.

Brixton Station during the Bus Strike photographed by @Martin_Abrams.


A reminder to passengers affected by the bus strikes that the use of bus passes will be accepted on the underground, overground and DLR.



A reminder of the reasons for the bus strike, Wayne King, London regional officer of Unite:

London’s bus operators have raked in millions in profits while driving down pay and refusing to tackle pay inequality on the capital’s buses.

As bus company directors enjoy lottery style salaries, bus drivers doing the same job on the same route are being pitted against one another on different rates of pay.

Strike action is the last resort. We’ve been forced into this position by the operators’ refusal to even meet with us. Passengers sitting side by side on the same route expect to pay the same fare, so why shouldn’t drivers expect to be paid the same rate?

The bus operators need to stop pleading poverty in defending pay inequality and collectively start negotiating about a fairer deal for London’s bus workers.


A crowded Victoria Station this morning tweeted by @TommasoLucentin.

A crowded Victoria Station this morning tweeted by @TommasoLucentin.


Bus drivers putting their message out across social media.

Bus drivers putting their message out across social media.


Blackwall tunnel was briefly closed northbound to deal with an over-height lorry – re-opened now.


Tower Hamlets Metropolitan Police have warned travellers to be very cautious of the wet weather and the extra people on the road this morning.


Londoners tweet their reaction to the bus strike, tweeted by @gincoffeeshoes

Londoners tweet their reaction to the bus strike, tweeted by @gincoffeeshoes


Barclays cycle hire say more bikes are on-hand today and you can plan your journey here.


More statistics from TfL who expect 94 per cent of all bus routes to be affected today.


Talking on BBC London, Boris Johnson said: “The answer is no” [to the rise in pay]. The Mayor of London claims the bus driver parity would cost £100m, as thousands of bus drivers strike.


Latest updates from TfL warn passengers that only 30 per cent of bus services are running and that they should expect journeys to be significantly affected. You can use this link to plan your route this morning: www.tfl.gov.uk/buses


Our members want an equal rate of pay across London and fair terms and conditions. Not a two tier workforce.

– Steve Barlow, London Sovereign RATP Bus Driver


Members of the Unite Union are fighting for equal pay as 18 bus companies strike this morning.

Unite Protesters, tweeted by @TUSCoalition

Unite Protesters, tweeted by @TUSCoalition

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