Stagecoach to step in with services during Aberdeen First bus strike

A stagecoach service 59 bus

A bus operator has said it will step up services for those affected by an upcoming strike at a rival firm.

Aberdeen First drivers have voted for 11 days of industrial action in a dispute over changes to conditions.

Of the 250 drivers polled, 95% voted for the walkouts, which will begin on March 16 with a 24 hour strike, followed by further action on March 19, 21 and 23.

Another strike will run from March 25 to April 1.

Rival operator Stagecoach has announced they will provide “that additional buses and staff will join their Aberdeen team to keep the city moving during the proposed strike action”.

Stagecoach operate the 59, X17, 62, 35, 37/727/10 and 7/7B services in Aberdeen.

The firm’s services are all available to board in the city, with the only stopping restrictions in the city centre on services 290, 291 and 218.

Last night Mark Whitelocks, managing director for Stagecoach North Scotland, said the firm was finalising plans for more buses on the roads.

He said: “We are dedicated to our customers and are committed to ensuring there is as little disruption to our city and shire services as a result of the industrial action at First.

“We are in the process of finalising our plans to ensure we have additional vehicles on our routes in Aberdeen to keep the city moving during this time.”

First drivers have raised fears that new contracts will lead to less holiday entitlement and longer shifts behind the wheel.

Bosses say the changes are needed to remain competitive and keep the King Street depot operational.