London braced for travel chaos as bus staff strike and Notting Hill Carnival road closures put in place

Alys Key
Follow Alys
Notting Hill Prepares To Welcome Carnival-goers This Weekend
Notting Hill Carnival kicks off today (Source: Getty)

More than 400 bus staff are on strike this Bank Holiday weekend, spelling potential disruption around the capital today and tomorrow.

Controllers of London's travel network began a strike at 12.01am on Sunday morning, and will continue for 48 hours.

Read more: Where to watch the Notting Hill Carnival

Members of Unite including controllers who work at TfL's CentreComm control centre, revenue protection inspectors and road transport enforcement officers have walked out over a disparity between their pay rises and those of London Underground staff.

The workers were offered a non-consolidated extra payment of £250 a year, or £4.80 a week, compared to a 3.2 per cent pay increase for Underground staff.

The strike is going ahead today after last-ditch peace talks on Tuesday resulted in an offer of £350 a year.

Read more: Beware Northern Line users: TfL warns of bank holiday travel trouble

Unite claimed that TfL had not put an adequate contingency plan into place, meaning that Londoners could face travel chaos during an already busy weekend.

“The staff being required to cover for the CentreComm workers do not have anything like the necessary knowledge and experience to cope with what will be a very challenging weekend," said Unite regional officer John Murphy.

“It is totally unacceptable to expect bus drivers to perform their duties without ensuring that suitable welfare facilities and operational support networks are in place."

TfL has advised revellers and others travelling around London to plan journeys in advance.

Roads in West London are closed today for the Notting Hill carnival, including Cambridge Gardens between St Marks Road and Ladbroke Grove. Some restrictions will continue into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Extra buses are set to run on routes 2, 36 and 205 to cope with additional demand.

Read more: Bendy buses could make a return to London

Related articles