London TfL bus strikes 2024: Controllers to begin strike action - which routes are affected

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Staff at two London bus garages are striking on six days, impacting services on the TfL network.

Bus controllers in London begin strike action over pay this week, the union Unite confirmed today (January 16).

Around 40 staff who work in the control rooms for Abellio buses begin action on Friday, impacting the Transport for London (TfL) network. The staff control routes, instruct drivers on traffic jams or accidents and ensure overall safety.

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Controllers, managers and supervisors based at both Battersea bus garage and Twickenham bus garage are staging walkouts on January 19 and 26, and February 2, 9, 16 and 23.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson said routes will still operate during the strikes but that they may be busier than usual.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Abellio’s poor pay offer will bring chaos to London as our members take strike action to fight for better pay.

“Abellio has hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue from lucrative London bus contracts and yet it is trying to short-change some of its most vital staff. It needs to understand our members won’t stand for it.”

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The union said a 5% pay increase offered by Abellio to control room staff, who use satellite GPS systems to monitor bus routes across London, is a "substantial real terms pay cut". It said staff earn "approximately £10,000 per year less than similar staff at other bus companies" and that the pay offer is lower than that at other companies.

Unite said Abellio London's latest accounts registered profits of over £4 million from revenues of over £165 million.

A spokesperson for Abellion said: "We have negotiated with Unite since April 2023 regarding pay for its members in our controller and officials staff groups. It is disappointing to see Unite take strike action following an unconditional offer of a 5% increase in salary, back paid to January 2023. This offer is in line with increases made to other groups of staff within the business.

"We have mitigation plans in place for the strikes and are working with TfL to ensure Londoners can continue to travel during this unnecessary action."

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Rosie Trew, TfL's head of bus service delivery, said: " We encourage Unite and Abellio to find a solution to this dispute. If this action goes ahead, bus services will still be available during strike days, but routes may be busier than normal. We’re encouraging everyone who might be affected to plan ahead, allow extra time for their journeys and check before they travel using our website or the TfL Go app.”

Which routes are affected by the London bus controller strikes?

The routes impacted by industrial action are primarily in south and south-west London. They include numbers 24, 27, 111, 156, 159, 267, 285, 322, 344, 345, 415 , 490, 969, H20, H25, H26, R68 and R70.

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