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NI bus strike: All you need to know ahead of shutdown of routes for full week


Stock image: Metro Bus

Stock image: Metro Bus

Stock image: Metro Bus

Strike action - taking place between May 17 and 23 - will see a “complete shutdown” of bus routes across Northern Ireland but train services will remain operational.

No buses will operate under Metro, Ulsterbus, Goldline and Glider services for that entire week.

It is believed that the action could impact up to 1.3 million journeys, including 55,000 school pupils, according to Translink.

Bus lanes will, however, remain operational and open for cyclists, permitted taxis and operating buses.

Earlier this month, bus workers from Translink voted for an NI-wide strike through Unite the Union and GMB unions.

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It comes after talks between the unions and the public transport provider broke down over the latest pay offer when Translink workers rejected the offer and announced it would go ahead with previously suspended strike action.

No public school buses will be running for the entire week and parents have been advised to arrange alternative travel for their children to ensure they are able to attend school.

This has come under much criticism after it was revealed many pupils will be sitting their GCSE, AS and A-Level exams this coming week.

The Department for Infrastructure has advised those who can to work from home where possible if they use public transport.

Translink previously said it "exhausted all options" during negotiations with the trade unions Unite and GMB over pay and conditions.

“All train services will continue to operate as normal," a spokesperson said.

“We will communicate relevant passenger information through the media, on our website www.translink.co.uk, through social media, in stations, and on buses and trains.

“Translink apologises for any inconvenience this may cause."

A planned strike last month by the GMB and Unite unions was called off after Translink made a revised pay offer.

According to the unions, they submitted a pay claim of 6% to help the bus drivers, cleaners and shunters cope with inflation of 9% in the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Speaking earlier in the week, GMB regional organiser Peter Macklin said: “Translink bus workers have once again shown their anger and frustration with the company.

“They were proud to carry out their duty during the pandemic, despite potentially putting themselves and their families lives at risk.

“Now they need some help to tackle the crushing cost-of-living crisis they face, but bosses aren’t listening.”

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