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Arriva bus strike that would have affected Medway, Maidstone, Gravesend and Bluewater called off

Industrial action that would have affected buses in Medway, Maidstone, Aylesford, Gravesend and Bluewater on Monday has been called off.

Arriva announced today that a strike planned for Monday (December 14) would not go ahead following talks between the company and Unite the Union earlier this week.

Heath Williams, managing director of Arriva Southern Counties said: “I would like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience they suffered during the two strike days earlier this month and I am delighted we can now focus on ensuring our routes return to running as smoothly as possible.”

An Arriva bus
An Arriva bus

The dispute followed changes to Arriva bus timetables across Medway, introduced in June and July.

The changes caused timekeeping issues which Arriva said did not become fully apparent until the schools returned in September.

Drivers walked out twice earlier this month as Unite the Union claimed the timetable changes were unachievable and unsafe as drivers would suffer with fatigue after working up to five-and-a-half hours with just four minutes’ “recovery time” and limited access to toilets.

Revisions to the timetable and routes have now been put forward and will come into effect on January 24 2016, when the statutory 56-day registration notice period ends, Arriva said.

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