'Almost full bus service' to operate despite drivers' strike

ACTION: Bus drivers are striking

ACTION: Bus drivers are striking

First published in Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

THE bus company affected by strike action today will be operating an ‘almost full service.’ Drivers belonging to the Unite union have called a second 24 hour strike beginning at 4.30am.

First says following talks with Unite, a revised pay offer was put forward. This offer was fully recommended by the union, but was then rejected by the membership in a ballot. As a result, the membership called for the day of action today.

First has made extensive contingency plans to ensure normal timetables operate on its services 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 47 and 387 which serve Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, Poole, Bridport and Yeovil.

Service 31 will be running a full service between Dorchester South Station to Axminster between 7am and 7pm. Customers travelling to and from Weymouth should use Service 10 and change buses at Dorchester.

First also says all school and college buses are also scheduled to operate. These will include Service 753 from Beaminster Square leaving at 7.20am and arriving at Weymouth College at 8.37am. The return Service 753 journey will leave Weymouth College at 5.05pm and will arrive in Beaminster Square at 6.25pm.

One Service x53 will run during the day leaving Lyme Regis Post Office at 6.40amgoing via Weymouth College will arrive at Weymouth King Statue at 8.14am.

Single fares between Weymouth, Dorchester and Portland will be £1.50 throughout the day and £3 for a day ticket. The £1.50 single is a special fare for the day as is the £3.00 ticket which normally works in the Weymouth area. However, First has extended it to cover the same area as the Weymouth Plus ticket for the day of the strike only.

Managing Director for First Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire Marc Reddy said on Friday: “While it is disappointing and frustrating that again, some of our drivers have chosen to go on strike, we’ve worked behind the scenes and I am pleased we are able to operate practically a full service on Monday.

“We are also well aware that with further bad weather including storms and severe gales forecast this weekend, our services may be affected by the aftermath of this including flooded roads and fallen trees.

“To meet the travelling needs of our customers, we continue to do everything we can to run services as normal and minimise any impact. We will also keep customers informed through the website, Twitter and Facebook about any further changes to their services which may occur.”

Customers should check the website  firstgroup.com/ukbus/dorset/ before starting their journey or get updates on services throughout the day via Twitter on twitter.co.uk/dorset or through the dedicated Facebook page facebook.com/FirstinDorset

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