London bus strike: Travel chaos could erupt as bus staff walk out during Notting Hill Carnival

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Travel chaos could erupt in London over the remainder of the Bank Holiday weekend, with bus staff set strike for 48 hours from Sunday.

The walkout, which coincides with Notting Hill Carnival and Clapham’s South West Four festival, will begin at 12.01am on Sunday and is expected to last until the end of Monday.

More than two million people will descend on west London for the carnival, leading to fears of significant transport issues.

Over 400 controllers are set to strike in a row over pay sparking fears of widespread disruption across the capital, Unite the union said.

And staff responsible for rerouting buses for Notting Hill Carnival are among those involved in a dispute over an “unfair” pay rise offered to workers by Transport for London.

The 3.5-mile long parade will shut down huge swathes of Notting Hill, Westbourne Park and Labroke Grove.

Tube stations will operate an exit only policy at certain times during the event leaving revellers reliant on buses to get around.

Bus station controllers, traffic controllers and traffic enforcement officers are among those who have been offered a £250-per-year non-consolidated payment compared to a 3.2 per cent increase for London Underground workers.

Unite Regional officer Hugh Roberts said: “Hard working TfL staff who perform crucial work keeping bus drivers safe and the network running smoothly, are fed up with being treated as the poor relations.

“TfL management must understand that our members are not going to accept a few crumbs from the rich man’s table. They deserve a decent pay rise.

“The non-consolidated offer is particularly insulting as after the two year pay deal the workers’ pay will still be stuck at current levels.

 “The ball is firmly in TfL management’s court, the inevitable disruption this strike will cause can be avoided, by the organisation entering into meaningful negotiations.”

Claire Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Service Delivery and Operations, said: “We have made a fair offer to staff, which maintains pay and conditions, improves work-life balance, brings salaries in line with similar roles and reflects the tough financial environment in which we operate.

“Discussions have been underway for the past 18 months and we continue to be available for further talks. We are putting plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to bus services over the bank holiday weekend should the strike action go ahead.”

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