Edinburgh bus strike to hit Fringe Festival as 1700 drivers opt to walk out at the busiest time of year

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A travel crisis is set to hit the capital during the Fringe this August after bus drivers across Edinburgh voted in favour of industrial action at the time of the city’s busiest time of year.

The union, Unite, said that more than 1700 members could refuse to work during the city’s tourist boom in August after a whopping 91.3 per cent backed the action in a ballot. The turnout for the vote was 63.2 per cent.

According to the Daily Record, drivers voted in favour of the strike ahead of talks to resolve a dispute over claims of a “hostile” culture at Lothian Buses.


Lyn Turner, Unite regional industrial officer, said the ballot had delivered an emphatic result.

She said: “The scale of the result is testament to the lack of trust and confidence which Unite’s 1700-strong membership has in the current Lothian Buses management.

“Unite will now enter imminent talks with Lothian Buses at Acas in a positive and constructive manner in the coming days.

“We do so in an effort to resolve this dispute and we want to mutually agree a number of measures, which could easily avert any industrial action.

“However, this requires Lothian Buses to enter these talks in the same manner and if they do not then Unite has a clear mandate to issue a notice for strike action at any time.”


Talks with the bus company are set to take place on June 28 after previous discussions broke down.

Richard Hall, Lothian Buses managing director, said: “We’ve held amicable discussions with union officials over recent weeks and we hope that Unite will enter into next week’s meeting at Acas with a resolve to avoid strike action that would be damaging for Edinburgh’s population and visitors, as well as all our colleagues in the business.

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“Should the union take the decision to go out on strike, we will continue to work positively with all our colleagues across the business whether they have voted in favour or not.

“We sincerely hope that strike action will be averted, however.”

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