Arriva bus strikes postponed in Kent because of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral

More than 600 bus drivers were due to strike in a dispute over pay. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A planned bus strike across several parts of Kent has been postponed because of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral which takes place on Monday (19 September).

Unite the Union have confirmed that scheduled walkouts today (16 September) and on Tuesday (20 September) have been called off.

Those taking part operate from depots in Gillingham, Maidstone, Gravesend and Tunbridge Wells.

Further strike action by Kent based bus company Arriva is expected to go ahead in two weeks' time (30 September).

Northfleet, Gillingham, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells saw services affected on Monday (5 September). Credit: ITV News Meridian

Unite regional officer Janet Nobbs previously said: “Bus strikes will inevitably cause severe disruption across Kent but this dispute is entirely of Arriva’s own making. Arriva has had every opportunity to resolve this dispute but it has chosen not to do so.”

The workers have already turned down a pay increase offer of around 10%, with the union describing the offer as 'a real terms pay cut' as it doesn't match 'the real rate of inflation' which stands at 12.3%.

The union’s Arriva members in Buckinghamshire have also recently announced strike action beginning this month, while the planned action by drivers in Essex has been called off after workers accepted an improved pay offer.

A spokesperson for Arriva previously said they will continue to keep their customers and stakeholders updated, and they apologise for the inconvenience this will cause across the region, particularly as our schools return for a new academic year.