Bus strike causes commuter chaos in Dublin

Thousands of commuters were facing massive travel chaos today after a wildcat strike at Dublin Bus hit services on 39 routes.

An unofficial stoppage by workers at Harristown depot, close to the airport, over new schedules spread to a second base in Clontarf, also in the north of the city.

Unions at the state-owned company agreed earlier this month to accept the cost-saving proposals, which will see 120 buses taken off the roads.

But employees are resisting the plans after a driver was suspended for refusing to work a new schedule on the 128 route.

Twenty-nine routes have been cancelled and a further 10 have had services cut with the Harristown stoppage affecting Ballymun, Finglas, Donabate, Swords, Blanchardstown, Kimmage and a raft of other areas in the north of the city.

From the Clontarf garage routes affected include Coolock, Malahide, Donaghmede, Howth and Portmarnock.

Gardaí said bus lanes had been opened to motorists in the north of the city to ease congestion during the morning rush hour.

It is day two of the wildcat strike after Dublin Bus advised customers that timetables would change yesterday as the first phase of cuts in the fleet came into force.

A number of lesser-used services were to cease operating while services on popular routes will be rearranged. The second phase will take place in May.

Both Siptu and the National Bus and Rail Union voted to accept the proposals earlier this month after the company deferred the introduction of planned cuts to its services.

The cuts were originally due to be introduced on Easter Monday but were postponed to allow the unions to clarify a ruling from the Labour Court.

A full list of the affected services has been posted on www.dublinbus.ie

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