HUNDREDS of bus drivers could end up on strike if a bus company pushes ahead with plans to close a major depot - and here are the services that could be affected.

Go North East drivers based at Chester-le-Street are set to be balloted on industrial action following the company's decision to close the depot down.

It comes as Unite the Union has served "formal" notification to the company that its members intend to fully fight the closure.

Read more: Hundreds of Go North East drivers could strike over depot’s shock closure

If successful, it could mean more than a hundred drivers end up either working to rule or taking part in strike action in a bid to get the company to reverse the decision.

Go North East is blaming the closure on the "financial impact" brought on by the pandemic, changes to the economy and a recent pay claim from the union amid the cost of living.

Meanwhile, it has suggested the depot is in a poor condition and will require substantial investment to keep it open.

However, Unite has disputed the company's reasoning for the closure while drivers say their personal lives will be turned "upside down" if they are forced to relocate elsewhere.

Neighbouring depots include Gateshead, Consett, Sunderland and Washington. 

What drivers have said

Explaining that the workforce "didn't want to go without a fight," workers say they believed this is the only way.

One said: "We're not having a go at the public, we don't want to disrupt their travel arrangements but we need to make the company sit up and take notice."

What services operate out of the depot

The Northern Echo understands that the following services are operated from the depot and could therefore be disrupted if such strikes go ahead:

- Newcastle to Brandon 21 

- Newcastle to West Auckland X21

- Newcastle to Langley Park 25

- Newcastle to Chester-le-street 28, 28A & B

- Durham to Sherburn 204

- Sunderland to Stanley 8

- Waldridge to Pelton Fell 34

- Seaham to Houghton le Spring 71

- Chester-le-Street to Waldridge 701/2&3

- Cathedral bus 42

In addition, it is also understood Go North East operates a number of school contracts for primary and secondary schools, although it is not known if they would be affected.

What Go North East has said

No industrial action has been officially confirmed.

But in response to the threat of such action from Unite the Union, Go North East has said discussions are still ongoing following its decision to close the depot down.

A spokesperson said: "We are still in talks with Unite the Union over arrangements for the depot move.

"We re-confirm there will be no driver or workshop engineer redundancies or any disruption to service as a result of the depot move, which is planned for September."


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