The mayor of London's office announced today that a new 'minimum professional London bus driver wage' will be introduced to apply to all new Transport for London (TfL) contracts awarded to bus companies from April next year.
Sadiq Khan said he was taking the first step towards fulfilling his election manifesto promise to provide a new fairer deal for London’s 25,000 bus drivers by bringing in a minimum salary of £23,000.
TfL will apply this to all new contracts awarded from 1 April 2017, rising with inflation thereafter.
While £23,000 already represents the average starting salary of a bus driver today, there are variations locally and some drivers are paid less than this. The mayor's office said the new professional driver wage will "prevent a race to the bottom where competition for bus routes leads to pay for new starters reducing over time".
“London’s hard-working bus drivers keep our city moving at all times of day and night," Khan said.
"Yet while millions of Londoners rely upon our buses every day, for too long drivers haven’t been getting a fair deal.
“Our new proposals will mean that, whichever private bus company you work for, drivers will be entitled to a minimum level of pay. It wasn’t right that a driver with the same level of knowledge, skill and experience could get paid less simply for working on a different route or moving company."
The mayor added: “London’s buses are an iconic and essential part of our everyday life, and our new proposals are the first step towards ensuring our professional drivers are treated fairly, and get the pay they deserve.”
He also introduced a new bus 'Hopper' fare in September, which allows passengers to change onto another bus or tram for free within one hour of touching in at the start of their journey.