A STRIKE by bus drivers which would have affected services in the Ross area has been averted.

Unite the Union and Stagecoach West have agreed terms that means the strike, which was due to have started tomorrow (Thursday) will now not go ahead.

Some 380 drivers who are members of Unite voted for industrial action over pay which would have seen services affected for a month.

Stagecoach runs services between Ross, Hereford, Gloucester, the Forest of Dean and Monmouth.

The strike had been scheduled to run from Thursday, March 10 until Saturday, April 9.

The union says the drivers have accepted “a greatly improved pay offer”, worth up 12 per cent for 2021 and 2022.

When the union announced the result of a strike ballot a fortnight ago, it stated that drivers from the Ross depot would be among those taking industrial action.

In a statement issued yesterday (Wednesday) on the resolution of the dispute, Ross is not listed among the affected depots.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a great win for our members who, by standing together collectively, have ensured that Stagecoach made a vastly improved pay offer.

“This pay deal demonstrates how Unite’s strategy of always prioritising the jobs, pay and conditions of workers is paying dividends.”

The dispute was the first time ever that the drivers had ever voted for strike action.

Unite regional officer Shevaun Hunt said: “This pay deal could not have been achieved without the hard work of Unite’s reps and by our members being prepared to stand up and say they were no longer prepared to accept low pay.

“This deal is a first step in tackling pay issues at the company.

“It is hoped that Unite and Stagecoach West can now work together to ensure that further progress is made in ensuring fair pay.” company.”