Arriva North West bus drivers, already set to strike on Monday 20 November, are also to take industrial action on nine days in December in an attempt to secure higher pay.
The stepping up of strike action means that there will be no planned Arriva services running on 4 December, 7 December, 12-14 December, or 20-23 December in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and Lancashire. Cheshire will also be hit, although services will run out of the Chester depot and into the city from Wrexham and Rhyl.
Rail operators have confirmed that pre-paid tickets will be accepted on Merseyrail and Northern Rail services on 20 November. Tickets will also be valid on Stagecoach Quality Network Routes.
Phil Stone, managing director of Arriva North West, said: “Arriva tabled an improved offer for our drivers at last Tuesday’s meeting with Unite and GMB. We are still awaiting the results of Unite and GMB’s ballot to its members on this improved pay offer. It is disappointing therefore that Unite and GMB have announced further unnecessary strike dates without first confirming the outcome of the ballot and allowing Arriva to respond.
“We are, as ever, keen to meet with the Unite and GMB to resolve the pay dispute and have requested a further meeting with them this Thursday to put an end to the disruption and inconvenience caused to our customers through strike action. As we have said before, any pay offer has to be sustainable for the business going forward and we believe we have put forward a fair pay deal for our drivers.
“Our customers are understandably growing weary of the travel disruption, and we sincerely apologise to them for the inconvenience caused by the continued strike action.”
GMB and Unite have been approached for comment.