'Bus strike unlikely'

'Bus strike unlikely'

 London’s transport chief believes a bus strike is unlikely during this month’s Olympics despite an unresolved dispute over bonuses for drivers, Peter Hendy said on Friday.

Hendy, commissioner at London’s public transport authority Transport for London (TfL), also said it was not his intention to catch motorists out with the 109-mile Olympic Route Network (ORN) and its more restrictive 30 miles of Games Lanes.

The capital’s distinctive red double and single-decker buses carry about 6.5 million passengers a day on frequently log-jammed roads.

They will play a major part in the TfL’s agenda to get people out of their cars and on to public transport during the Games which start on July 27.

Bus drivers have already held a 24-hour strike over a demand for an extra 500 pounds ($780) to compensate for the stress of working during the Games, pointing to other pay deals agreed with London's rail staff.  “I think it is very unlikely,” Hendy said when asked about the chances of a strike during the Olympics.

Talks began this week after the TfL stepped in with an offer on top of that made by the private sector bus employers.

“The bus staff in London are very reasonable and decent people and I think they are as excited as everybody else to have the Olympics in London,” Hendy said.

TfL is also urging Londoners, who do not go away on their summer holidays, to work from home or change their working hours.  Hendy said businesses were getting the message to plan ahead even if some had yet to pass the information on to staff.

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