Bus strikes will hit services across Wigan, Leigh and St Helens

Arriva buses will be affected by a strike today
Arriva buses will be affected by a strike today
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Bus services across the borough are being affected by the first in a series of one-day strikes today.

Routes run by Arriva North West include buses from Wigan, St Helens and Leigh to Bolton, Chorley, Preston, St Helens, Southport, Skelmersdale and Warrington have been hit in a dispute over pay.

Before the stoppage Neil Clarke, a regional officer for the bus union Unite, said: "All we are seeking is a fair and reasonable pay award against a backdrop of spiralling inflation and soaring living costs.

"Our members are fed up with pitiful pay offers and Arriva’s ‘pick and mix’ approach to wages where some depots get a pay rise and others don’t.

"This has resulted in wage inequality across a number of depots and is in stark contrast to the company’s claim to be an industry leader in the treatment of its workforce."

The union claims there is currently a disparity of up to £1.73 per hour, between depots, and this could rise to £2 per hour, following the latest pay offer.

Phil Stone, Arriva’s regional managing director, said he was "disappointed" that staff would be striking, claiming the company had come up with a "fair pay offer" for staff.

This had followed a number of year-on-year increases, he added, at a time when other bus companies were imposing pay freezes.

Further stoppages are scheduled for next Monday and October 30.