Commuters face disruption as bus strike threatened

THOUSANDS of commuters in Dublin could face travel difficulties today after a strike yesterday affected 19 bus routes in the city.

The unofficial industrial action was launched by drivers working at the Harristown depot in north Dublin, sparked by unhappiness among some workers at recent Labour Court recommendations regarding the revised schedules for the 128 route.

Those recommendations were due to come into effect yesterday, only for some drivers to launch an unofficial strike, leading to the 128 route from Clongriffin to Palmerstown Park being closed down.

That was quickly followed by disruption on other routes, including the 4, 4a, 13, 13a, 17a, 27b, 33b, 40, 40a, 40b, 40c, 83, 102, 140, 237, 238 and 270.

Staff at the Harristown depot went on strike in 2007 over changes to bus routes and schedules, claiming it would result in extra travel time for drivers.

The latest action comes as Dublin Bus begins its own fleet reduction service following cutbacks instigated in recent months.

There are fears that commuters will face severe disruption to their travel plans today unless a quick solution is found to the problems at the centre of yesterday’s lightning strike.

SIPTU, which represents some bus drivers, said it had no connection with yesterday’s strike action, which it said was unofficial.

A spokeswoman for Dublin Bus said negotiations were continuing with bus drivers to end the unofficial action.

Yesterday saw a number of changes to routes and schedules in Dublin city due to Dublin Bus’s fleet reduction plan, the second phase of which will begin on May 10.

Earlier this month drivers at Dublin Bus narrowly voted to accept Labour Court recommendations and avoid strike action over the cost-cutting measures.

“We are hoping it will finish this evening and that the drivers will be back to work in the morning,” the spokeswoman, adding that there were no problems at any other depots.

However, she said she was unsure whether or not the strike would continue and cause disruption today.

Commuters have been advised to check the Dublin Bus website at dublinbus.ie to see if their route is one of those affected.

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