Home » News/Views » London bus drivers settle for big pay rise

London bus drivers settle for big pay rise

14 February 2023

New Routemaster bus on Route 159, operated by Abellio London, November 2022. Photo SG5511Y via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Bus drivers in London employed by Abellio have won a big pay increase at the end of a long-running dispute.

The 1,800 drivers, members of Unite union, voted to accept a greatly increased offer of an18 per cent pay rise.

Hard won

The victory was hard won after more than 20 days of strike action. The agreement for £18 an hour after two years’ service also includes increases for new starters and rate increases for overtime and rest day working.

The union secured inclusion in the agreement for drivers transferred to Abellio under TUPE legislation. They had not previously been made the offer.

Unite and the employer will also immediately negotiate to reach a new scheduling agreement, including rest breaks and start times. And a Unite rep has been reinstated, after dismissal on trumped-up charges. The union made that a pre-condition to settle the dispute.


Unite regional officer Guy Langston said, “This pay deal could not have been secured without the hard work of Unite’s reps and the commitment of its members. Unite will be looking to build on its increased industrial strength in future pay negotiations.”

Abellio operates just under 1 in 10 of London’s buses – over 850 of them on 60 routes. It is a subsidiary of the Dutch state-owned rail company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. Last August, NS announced a management buy out of its UK operations, but that has gone quiet.