Express & Star

Bus company needs to improve 'punctuality and reliability' now strikes are over, West Midlands Mayor says

Bus chiefs need to improve punctuality and reliability of the region's services in the aftermath of a deal to end strike action, the West Midlands Mayor has said.

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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

National Express West Midlands buses started running "as close to normal as possible" on Monday after days of almost no services by the major operator.

It came after drivers voted in favour of a 16.2 pay rise following a ballot put towards members of the Unite union announced on Saturday.

But the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has said whilst he welcomed the resumption of buses, there was still more to be done to improve.

Mr Street said: "Really pleased to see National Express buses back running a normal schedule across the West Midlands.

"With the strikes over, National Express now need to improve their service – particularly when it comes to punctuality and reliability. We are watching, and holding their performance to account."

During the strike action, the company has been operating a limited service primarily serving the region's hospitals as a row escalated between the two parties – with accusations of "union busting" and failing to agree to run the hospital service.

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 last week. 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