Boost for passengers as Leeds bus strike called off

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT users in Leeds were given some timely good news yesterday as the latest bus strike planned for the city was called off.

Around 1,000 drivers and other staff at the First operator were due to stage an open-ended walkout from 2am on Tuesday.

Yesterday, however, the indefinite action was suspended following what First described as “constructive” talks with the Unite union.

Staff at First have already held three 24-hour walkouts since the middle of last month in a dispute over pay.

The company said a revised pay offer would now be presented to drivers through a workplace ballot in the week starting August 8. First West Yorkshire managing director Paul Matthews said: “I’m pleased that Unite have suspended strike action.

“Although the dispute is not yet resolved we are hopeful the offer will be accepted and avoid any further disruption for our customers.”

News of the strike’s cancellation was greeted with relief by many people in the city.

Writing on the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Facebook page, Amy Green said: “Small victory for the commuters!” Michael Bland, meanwhile, simply posted: “Phew!!!”

First, the biggest bus company in Leeds, has run about 25 per cent of its usual services during previous strike days.

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