London bus strike: Which routes are affected and why are drivers taking action?

As many as 27,000 bus drivers as expected to take part in the strike, according the Unite

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Millions of commuters in London face travel chaos today, as some 27,000 bus drivers are staging a strike across the capital.

But why are they striking, and which bus routes are cancelled?

Who is involved?

The 27,000 workers are members of the Unite union at 18 companies across Greater London.

Why are they taking action?

The members hope their action will persuade Transport for London to offer a single agreement covering pay and conditions.

The Unite union has pointed out that while Tube drivers benefit from a collective pay deal, their colleagues on the buses are forced to negotiate on a company by company basis.

In turn, there are more than 80 different pay rates covering drivers doing the same job, leading to differences in hourly rates of over £3.

How will I be affected?

TfL said the strike will affect services from around 4am this morning and hit night bus services operating tonight into Wednesday morning.

The body has stressed there are contingency plans in place for commuters, with Bus & Tram Pass season tickets accepted on the Tube, DLR and London Overground services. However, there are many services commuters with bus passes will still be unable to use.

These include the MBNA Thames Clipper RB1 River Bus service (between 6am to 10am and 4.30pm to 7.30pm), and National Rail services or the Emirates Air Line will not accept bus passes.

One day bus and tram passes will also not be accepted on alternative services and refunds will not be given.

Bus services are expected to return to normal on Wednesday.

Are commuters irritated by the industrial action?

Actually, most passengers agree that bus drivers deserve to be paid the same rate.

A poll of 1,600 bus passengers for Unite showed that two thirds backed the bus drivers' campaign.

Which bus routes will be hit?

Eighteen bus companies across London will be affected by the pay strike. TfL confirmed that Abellio, Arriva, CT Plus, Go Ahead, London Sovereign, London United, Metroline, Stagecoach and Tower Transit would all be affected.

Although it has not confirmed route numbers that will definitely be affected, Tfl has given a list of bus routes which are not affected and will be running a normal service. These are:

66 - Romford Station to Leytonstone bus station

142 - Watford Junction to Brent Cross Shopping Centre

160 - Catford to Sidcup Station

258 - Watford Junction to South Harrow Station

268 - Golders Green Station to Finchley Road

288 - Queensbury to Broadfields Estate

298 - Arnos Grove to Potters Bar

303 - Edgware Station to Colindale

305 - Edgware Station to Kingsbury Circle

340 - Edgware Station to Harrow Bus Station

346 - Upminster Station to Upminster Park Estate

370 - Romford to Lakeside Shopping Centre

375 - Romford Station to Passingford Bridge

404 - Coulsdon to Caterham-on-the-Hill

406 - Kingston to Epsom

411 - Kingston to West Molsey

418 - Kingston to Epsom

428 - Erith to Bluewater Shopping Centre

463 - Coulsdon South Station to Pollards Hill

465 - Kingston to Dorking

467 - Hook to Epsom

470 - Colliers Wood Station to Epsom

492 - Sidcup Station to Bluewater Shopping Centre

499 - Gallows Corner to Heath Park Estate

626 - Finchley Central Station to Potters Bar

628 - Kingsbury to Southgate Station

631 - Golders Green Station to Henrietta Barnett School

641 - West Molesey to Teddington School

642 - West Hendon Broadway/Edgware Station to London Academy

653 - Muswell Hill Broadway to Kingsbury

683 - Friern Barnet to Kingsbury

688 - Southgate Station to Kingsbury

B12 - Erith to Joydens Wood

B13 - Bexleyheath Shopping Centre to New Eltham Station

B15 - Bexleyheath Shopping Centre to Horn Park

E10 - Northolt to Ealing Broadway Station

H2 - Golders Green Station circular (via Hampstead Garden Suburb)

H3 - Golders Green Station to East Finchley, Hilltop

H18 - Harrow Bus Station circular (via Pinner & Wealdstone)

H19 - Harrow Bus Station circular (via Wealdstone & Pinner)

K5 - Ham to Morden Station

S1 - Banstead to Lavender Fields

S3 - Sutton Hospital to Malden Manor Station

X26 - West Croydon to Heathrow Airport