Stagecoach Merseyside strike called off

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A planned strike by bus drivers at Stagecoach Merseyside has been called off, the Liverpool Echo reported.

The strikes were planned to coincide with closures of the Wirral rail loop line. Around 120 bus drivers, based at Stagecoach’s Rock Ferry garage, were due to walk out on December 28 for two weeks in a long-running dispute over pay.

The strike would have ended at midnight on Tuesday, January 10, one week after the track renewal works begin.
In a statement, Stagecoach said: “Planned strike action affecting Wirral bus services has been cancelled.

“Operating company Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire has confirmed that members of Unite the union have accepted the latest pay offer put to employees.

“As a result, all planned strike action has been called off and the company expects services 1, 2, 38, 41, 42, 471, 472 to continue running to the planned timetable throughout the remainder of the festive season.

“The strike had been due to take place between Wednesday, December 28 and Tuesday, January 10.

“From January 3, Stagecoach will be switching from single-deck to double-decker buses on services X8 and 2, increasing capacity between Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire, keeping people moving throughout the Wirral loop line closure.”

Unite previously said it was taking the action because drivers had not had a pay rise since 2015 and after eight months of negotiations, the company had failed to increase its offer of 1.5% for 2016 and 2% for 2017.