Express & Star

Bus services as 'close to normal as possible' after drivers accept pay deal

Bus services have returned to normal today after drivers voted in favour of a 16.2 per cent pay rise bringing an end to days of strike action that impacted the entire network.

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The result concludes the pay dispute between National Express West Midlands and Unite - which saw drivers walk out last Monday.

Today, bosses at National Express say service will be as "close to normal as possible".

Industrial action began on Monday, when 3,100 National Express drivers "downed tools" in a dispute over pay and conditions.

During the strike action, the company has been operating a limited service primarily serving the region's hospitals.

A previous offer of a 14.3 per cent pay increase, along with increases to Christmas and New Year's pay and accident pay, was rejected a week ago, and Sharon Graham of Unite the union today welcomed "an important win" for members.

National Express has also guaranteed to implement new terms and conditions that were agreed with Unite in November last year, a key sticking point in the dispute.

A statement on the National Express West Midlands website welcoming the end of strikes says: "We are pleased to confirm that the bus strike has been called off following a positive driver ballot outcome. We are very sorry to our customers and the communities we serve for the disruption and uncertainty this has caused over the last week.

"We will deliver a reduced service tomorrow and we’re aiming for a normal service from Monday.

"Our customer services teams have no further details."

For a full list of services running today visit