Arriva strike: Free bus service to Pinderfields Hospital as talks take place this week to resolve bus worker row

Talks are due to take place this week to try and resolve a strike by Arriva bus workers in a row over pay.

By Leanne Clarke
Monday, 13th June 2022, 10:58 am

The industrial action by Unite members started at 2am on Monday, June 6, halting services in Wakefield and the whole of West Yorkshire and is to last for 'for an undisclosed period of time'.

Arriva and Unite continue to dispute the reasons behind the strike with the bus company rejecting claims that their pay offer was just a 4.1 per cent increase.

Arriva has repeated its request to Unite’s leadership to immediately end the strike so that their union members can vote on the pay offer claiming that they instead offered figures of between a 7 and 12.5 per cent pay increase.

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This week, Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, is offering free shuttle services to Pinderfields Hospital from the centre of Wakefield.

Bus passengers face major disruption as staff at Arriva depots including Castleford and Wakefield vote for strike actionThis week, Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, is offering free shuttle services to Pinderfields Hospital from the centre of Wakefield.

The services will come into effect from today, Monday, June 13, helping people to reach appointments or to visit friends and family.

Mayor Brabin, said: “This continuing strike is causing real hardship to people across Wakefield, Dewsbury and Batley.

"As someone who regularly uses the bus network, I know that buses are at the heart of our communities and hear people’s frustrations - not everyone can afford a taxi, has access to a car or to a lift share scheme, and even if they did the cost of petrol now makes it too costly to drive.

“Bus services in England outside London are run by individual operators, not by local government, so our powers to intervene are limited.

"However, due to the prolonged action and the need for communities to access vital public services, we are introducing a free shuttle bus service from Wakefield Bus Station to Pinderfields Hospital.

"This will mean people can reach essential hospital appointments or visit family and friends."

Mayor Brabin has been involved in discussions with both sides in the hope that an agreement can soon be reached.

“Like many people across our region, I would like to see these issues resolved as soon as possible," she said.

"I’ve met with both Arriva Yorkshire and Unite to urge them to come to an agreement for the benefit of passengers, bus drivers, the company and those local businesses that rely on people being able to get to work or get to the shops.”

Last week, Phil Bown, Unite's regional officer, apologised for the disruption to passengers but said drivers have no intention of standing down.

"The passengers are collateral damage which is unfortunate. I do feel sorry for them and I want to apologise for the inconvenience but my members can't continue putting up with what they do," he said.

"We have been trying to resolve this for eight months without hurting passengers but Arriva aren't interested. They are the ones that have caused the strike, no one else."

The strikes continue to cause significant disruption, with no bus services across the region until the industrial action ends.