Tens of thousands of commuters are facing disruption to their journeys across Leeds today due to a planned bus strike in a dispute over pay.
Around 1,000 drivers and customer hosts at the Hunslet Park and Bramley depots are holding a day of strike action which affects people who travel on a total of 65 bus routes across the city.
Traffic into Leeds this morning was predictably heavier than usual, as bus passengers took to their cars.
Routes into the city from Rawdon, Horsforth, Bramhope, Harrogate, Wetherby and Morley were all heavily congested, with the M621 a particular hotspot.
Today’s strike is being carried out by members of the Unite union and a full list of affected routes are detailed below.
It comes after a new pay offer negotiated between First Leeds and Unite with the assistance of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) was rejected at a union branch meeting last week.
The pay dispute only affects First Leeds, with First bus services in Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax unaffected.
Elland Road park and ride services are scheduled to run as normal, as are MyBus and Access Bus services.
Unite said support for the strike had been “solid”, with only 10 or so of its members crossing picket lines.
The union also warned that it was planning another walkout next Monday, June 20, if the dispute could not be resolved.
Around 150 striking workers were on a picket line at First’s Hunslet Park depot.
Paul Matthews, managing director of First Leeds, said, “I’m very disappointed that the new pay offer negotiated with Unite has been rejected.
“The strike will cause massive disruption to tens of thousands of people across Leeds including workers and those in education taking exams.
“We remain absolutely committed to resolving this dispute. We will do all we can to avoid further industrial action.”
First Leeds, which employs 1,028 bus drivers and hosts based at the two Leeds depots, said in an earlier statement that the company had been in discussions with Unite for several months over the pay review anniversary on May 1.
Speaking on Friday, Unite’s Mr Bown said: “First Bus makes massive profits from the travelling public in Leeds and the hard work of our members who keep the city on the move day in, day out.
“Strike action is very much the last resort, but faced with management’s refusal to improve on its pitiful pay offer and negotiate meaningfully at Acas, our members feel forced into taking this action.
“All our members are looking for is fair treatment and recognition for their hard work.
“We would urge First Bus management to drop its hardline attitude which risks causing disruption for the travelling public and enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.”
Information on affected services will be updated throughout the day via www.firstgroup.com/leeds and @firstwestyorks.
SERVICES WHICH ARE NOT RUNNING TODAY (JUNE 13):
• Service 4A, 5, 7A, 7S, X7, 9, 11/11A, 14,X14, 15, X15, 16A, 19/19A, 28, 33A, 48, 49, 50A, 52, 54, 55, 59, 60/60A, 61/61A, 63, 64, 70, 74, X84, 85/87, 86/86A, 88, 90, 91, 97, X99, 965.
These journeys on service 611 will NOT run today:
• From Bradford at: 0720, 0750, 0805, 0820, 0840, 1655, 1725, 1740, 1810
• From Pudsey at: 0647 0748 1622 1652
• From Bradford Moor at: 0727 0744 0759 0814 0844 1633 1703 1718 1748
SERVICES RUNNING TO SPECIAL TIMETABLES TODAY:
On this day, buses will start later and finish earlier then normal.
Buses are also likely to be busier than normal.
Service Between Daytime frequency
1 Beeston - City - Holt Park Every 60 minutes
2 Thorpe Lane - City Every 60 minutes
2 City - Roundhay Park Every 60 minutes
3 White Rose - City - Brackenwood Every 60 minutes
(2 buses/hour White Rose - City)
3A White Rose - City - Gledhow Every 60 minutes
4 Pudsey - City - Seacroft Every 60 minutes
6* City - Holt Park Every 60 minutes
7** City - Primley Park Every 60 minutes
12 Thorpe Lane - City - Roundhay Park Every 60 minutes
13 Thorpe Lane - City - Brackenwood Every 60 minutes
13A Thorpe Lane - City - Gledhow Every 60 minutes
16 Pudsey - City - Seacroft Every 60 minutes
33* City - Guiseley - Otley Every 60 minutes
40*** City - Seacroft Every 60 minutes
42 Butterbowl - City - Oakwood Every 60 minutes
50 Horsforth - City - Seacroft Every 60 minutes
51 Moor Allerton - City - Tingley Mills Every 60 minutes
56*** Whinmoor - City - Moor Grange Every 60 minutes
72 Leeds - Bramley - Bradford Every 30 minutes
* - In Leeds City Centre, buses on services 6 & 33 will serve Eastgate, NOT the City Bus Station
** - On Scott Hall Road, buses will NOT used the guide way, stopping instead on the main carriageway adjacent to guideway stops
*** - On York Road, buses will NOT used the guide way, stopping instead at normal bus stops on the main carriageway
SERVICES BEING PROVIDED BY OTHER OPERATORS TODAY:
Some journeys on service X98 will be provided by Connexions Buses
School services LW1 and LW2
Quarry Hill works contract
SERVICES RUNNING AS NORMAL TODAY:
PR1 Elland Road Park & Ride
508 Halifax to Leeds via Farsley and Kirkstall Road
670 Bradford to Leeds via Greengates Rodley and Kirsktall Road
X6 Bradford to Leeds Express
X11 Bradford to Leeds via Pudsey
Yellow School Bus services to John Smeaton Community College and St Theresa’s RC Primary school