Bus strike on 6 January will hit Scarborough and Whitby passengers as union members reject Arriva pay offer

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Scarborough and Whitby passengers will be affected as about 650 bus drivers will strike for a week from 6 January after they rejected a revised pay offer by a large majority, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has announced.

The drivers, based at Darlington, Durham, Redcar, Stockton and Whitby, voted by 72 per cent to 28 per cent to reject the pay offer that was made last weekend when a week’s strike due to have started on 16 December was suspended.

Following yesterday’s rejection, the strike will now start at 00.01 on Sunday 6 January and end at 23.59 on Saturday 12 January.

Among the affected services would be the popular X93 between Middlesbrough and Scarborough, that goes through Whitby and various villages outside the two towns, and in winter runs every hour.

Also affected would be Whitby's park and ride, the number 95 Eskdale to Sleights service and the X4 Loftus to Whitby.

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said that the crux of the dispute was the belief that bus drivers working for Arriva Durham County Ltd were the second lowest paid drivers of all the Arriva bus companies across the UK.

Unite has said that the crux of the dispute was the belief that bus drivers working for Arriva Durham County Ltd were the second lowest paid drivers of all the Arriva bus companies across the UK.

Unite regional officer Bob Bolam said: “Our members have today rejected by a large majority the revised pay offer that the management of Arriva Durham County Ltd made last weekend.

“The revised offer failed to bridge that pay gap and our members can’t endure this glaring pay inequality – the ball is now very much in the management’s court.

“However, we appreciate the great inconvenience that the strike will cause to the travelling public in early January and, because of that, Unite is ready to hold constructive talks over the holiday period.”

The bus drivers rejected the revised package which included 75p on the hourly rate over two years in four instalments. The drivers are seeking an increase £1 per hour on the rates for the year starting March 2018.