Sunderland bus drivers set for three days of strikes

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BUS passengers will face severe disruption over the coming weeks after Go North East drivers voted for industrial action.

The company today announced that members of the Unite union have voted to strike this Friday, Monday, March 18, and Saturday, March 23, after rejecting what it said was a 4.5 per cent pay offer.

Go North East commercial director Martin Harris said: “Every effort will be made to run as many services as possible and priority will be given to running services for schools.

“We are contacting schools today following advice to the local authorities to whom we are contracted for these services, and we are also prioritising services for other contractors such as Npower.

“We anticipate being able to operate a number of other services and will provide a network of skeleton services across the areas of the region that we serve.

“A full list will be posted on our website today, and we will continue to update this throughout the week.

“However, at this stage we have to recognise that there will be severe disruption for most Go North East customers and would recommend giving consideration to making alternative travel arrangements for the days on which strikes are planned.

“We will do everything we can to prevent or minimise the disruption, so customers are asked to please keep checking the Go North East website or social network feeds for detailed updates.

“We will be emailing customers with details of a reduction in smart card ticket prices to compensate for lost days and reducing weekly ticket prices on our buses to do likewise following the planned strike action.

“Further details will be announced shortly.”

No one from Unite was available for comment.