Angry commuters speak out as bus strikes hits Hackney

Bus drivers across London are striking today.

Bus drivers across London are striking today. - Credit: PA WIRE

Travel chaos hit Hackney this morning with many facing long delays on their route to work as bus drivers went on strike.

Every single route through the borough is thought to be affected as drivers - members of the Unite union - strike over pay inequality.

London’s buses are operated by 18 different companies, with 11 of them involved in today’s walkout.

The strike saw restricted services from about 4am, with night bus services also affected. Normal service is expected to resume tomorrow.

Mandy Newton, 32, a marketing worker who lives in Finsbury Park, said: “I’m going to be late because of this strike and I’ll probably be late home too.

“Yes my bus pass lets me on the underground today, but that’s not the point. The underground is going to be overloaded all day.”

James Roberts, 26, a shop manager from Green Lanes, said: “I’m having to go out my way today and get the tube – it’s an awkward journey.

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“I understand the bus drivers want more pay, I just hope this doesn’t become a regular thing.”

Bus and tram season ticket holders will be accepted on the Tube, DLR and London Overground on reasonable routes, as will 11 to 15 and 16+ photocard holders.

Passengers can their Oyster card to a member of staff to be let through and not touch in or out, otherwise a pay-as-you-go fare will be charged and not refunded.

Tickets will not be accepted on National Rail services or the Emirates Air Line.

Wayne King, London regional officer for Unite, said: “Strike action is the last resort. We’ve been forced into this position by the operators’ refusal to even meet with us.

“Passengers sitting side by side on the same route expect to pay the same fare, so why shouldn’t drivers expect to be paid the same rate?”

Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said: “It is extremely disappointing that Unite has decided to go ahead with this unnecessary disruption, especially given the low turnout for the ballot and low numbers voting for the strike.

“Bus drivers’ pay and conditions are a matter for the bus companies and Unite to discuss, as it has been for 20 years, and we continue to urge them to seek a swift and fair resolution for the sake of our passengers.”

To keep up to date on bus services on your route, click here