Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Sunday, 23 August 2009 10:35 UK

Bus users face strike disruption

Bus company bosses have reassured passengers that the effects of planned strike action on Wearside will be kept to a minimum.

Drivers at two depots of Go North East at Sunderland and Washington are staging the walkout on Monday, after turning down an offer of a 2% pay rise.

The action means 38 services will be cancelled or operate shorter routes.

The company said it hoped to provide a half-hourly service on seven of its most popular routes.

A spokesman for the union Unite, which represents the drivers, said: "In any industrial action the general public often suffer.

"That's not our intention. Our disagreement is with the company but we are aware they will be inconvenienced with this action."

Reduced fare

A Go North East spokesman said: "We are bitterly disappointed that we are facing industrial action on Monday, despite making a pay offer that is more than reasonable in the current climate.

"However, we must stress to our customers that the majority of services will be running as normal and will remain unaffected by this industrial action in any way.

"For those services affected, everything is being done to provide as convenient a service as possible for our customers

"Only buses operated from Deptford and Washington depots are affected."

A reduced £1 flat fare has been introduced on the affected routes because of the expected inconvenience, he added.

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