Strike warning to bus passengers

Bus passengers around Norwich have been warned of disruption to their travel plans during Friday's expected walk-out of First Eastern Counties' drivers.

Bus passengers around Norwich have been warned of disruption to their travel plans during Friday's expected walk-out of First Eastern Counties' drivers.

The one-day strike, called by Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), could see 250 bus drivers keeping off the road in a row over pay.

It means only a handful of mainly long-distance First services are still running, along with the all park and ride routes

The X1 from Lowestoft to Peterborough, which calls at Yarmouth, Norwich and King's Lynn will still operate, along with the X2 from Norwich to Lowestoft; services 17 and 17A from south Tuckswood to Blofield and Lingwood and the 57 from Norwich to Easton College.

The following services are run by the county council and will not be affected: the 10B from Norwich to Mulbarton; the 14B between Norwich and Wymondham and service 54B from Norwich to Wroxham.

All Norwich-based services, including the X3 to Watton; X4 to Thetford, X5 to Sheringham; 54 to Stalham, 56 to Lenwade, 58 to Bungay, 58A to Poringland will not operate.

Most Read

T&G said its members would walk out unless a settlement could be reached, with further strikes planned for next Wednesday and Monday, April 30.

It is in dispute with First over pay increase proposals which it claims will leave drivers worse off, although neither side has disclosed details of the offer or the union's pay claim.

First's drivers at other depots in Lynn, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft, Yarmouth and Ipswich have already accepted the pay offer, with the Norwich offer understood to have minor variations.

A statement released by the company stated: “First apologies for the disruption and inconvenience that this action brought by the T&G will cause.

“The company remains committed to finding a solution to the discussion about pay and conditions that is both reasonable and fair to our staff and which will not harm the future of the business.

“The company has made it clear to the T&G that the opportunity for them to return to the negotiating table has been offered so that a solution can be found and the planned strikes called off.”

For First customer services contact 08456 020 121.

t Passengers who want to combine train and bus travel can buy all-in-one season tickets at Norfolk's three main train stations from May 20. The PlusBus tickets can be added on to any train ticket to or from Norwich, Yarmouth and King's Lynn for unlimited local bus travel for a week, month, three months or a year. Visit www.plusbus.info.