London bus strike: Drivers to walk out over Notting Hill Carnival bank holiday weekend in pay row

240822 Notting Hill Carnival weekend bus strike considerable disruption (c) PA
(l) A man in costume heading to take part in last year's Notting Hill Carnival (r) a traveller sits on a delayed bus Credit: PA

More than 1,000 bus drivers in London are set to walk out over the August bank holiday weekend over a pay dispute.

Trade union Unite said 1,600 drivers at bus company London United would strike on Sunday 28 August and Monday 29 August, adding disruption to services which could affect those attending the Notting Hill Carnival.

Unite claims the dispute is a result of the workers only being offered a pay increase of 3.6% for 2022 and 4.2% for next year, saying it would be a “real terms pay cut” because the real inflation rate (RPI) stands at 12.3%.

People look out from the windows of a London bus Credit: PA

'Vital role keeping London moving'

General secretary Sharon Graham said French firm RATP, which owns London United, was “an incredibly wealthy” company that could afford to raise wages.

She added: “It (RATP) can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase, but it is refusing to do so.

“Our members play a vital role in keeping London moving and they are not going to accept a real terms pay cut when they are already worried about how to make ends meet.”

  • Which bus routes are affected by August Bank Holiday strikes?

The bus workers involved operate from depots in Fulwell, Hounslow, Hounslow Heath, Park Royal, Shepherd’s Bush and Tolworth.

The Park Royal, Shepherd’s Bush and Stamford Brook depots all serve routes which are in the vicinity of the carnival.

The following bus routes will be impacted by strike action from 05:00 on Sunday 28 August to 05:00 on Tuesday 30 August:

9, 18, 33, 49, 65, 70, 71, 72, 85, 94, 105, 110, 116, 117, 148, 203, 211, 216, 220, 223, 224, 235, 258, 265, 266, 272, 281, 283, 290, 293, 371, 404, 406, 411, 418, 419, 423, 440, 465, 467, 470, 481, C1, E1, E3, H17, H22, H32, H37, H91, H98, K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, N9, N18, N33, N65, N72, N266, S3.

The carnival is traditionally held on the August bank holiday weekend and is normally attended by around two million people.

This year’s event will return to the streets of Notting Hill for the first time since 2019 after being affected by the pandemic over the past two years.

'Considerable disruption'

Unite regional officer Michelle Braveboy added: “Strike action will inevitably cause considerable disruption and delays across west and south London, including for the carnival, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.”

But a spokesperson for TFL said: “The carnival won’t be severely disrupted due to only a small number of bus routes being cancelled.

“TfL is doing everything it can to reduce the impact of the strike action and is running as many bus services as possible, however customers are advised to check before they travel and leave extra time for their journeys.”

RATP has been approached for comment.

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