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Published: 2008-11-20 00:00:00

Environment Waikato says it is disappointed some Hamilton bus services are due to be disrupted tomorrow by industrial action by bus drivers.

It follows a breakdown in pay talks between bus company Go Bus and drivers who are members of the Northern Distribution Workers Union. About 60 per cent of Go Bus drivers in Hamilton are members of the union.

The union members have given notice they will strike from midnight tonight till midnight Friday. Go Bus has said the drivers have also indicated they will not accept cash fares on Saturday. Go Bus has told EW that this refusal to take cash fares is not acceptable and that it plans to lock out the union drivers on Saturday.

The dispute means a range of services will be affected. EW is currently in discussion with Go Bus over exactly what buses will be affected. Information will be provided to the public as soon as possible.

Once the situation becomes clearer, passengers will be able to visit the www.busit.co.nz website for the latest information or ring the Hamilton transport centre on 0800 4 BUSLINE.

"Thousands of Hamiltonians rely on EW-provided buses for their transport and it is disappointing to see services being disrupted," said EW’s land transport operations manager Bevan Dale.

"We hope the company and drivers can quickly resolve their differences so that any more disruption to services is avoided.

"In the meantime we will work closely with the company to try to minimise inconvenience to passengers."

Mr Dale said EW – which manages the provision of bus services in Hamilton - did not have a role in the pay negotiations between Go Bus and the drivers.

"This is an employment matter between the company and its staff.

"EW is not involved in setting rates of pay. We simply tender for services and are obliged by the New Zealand Transport Agency to accept the lowest bid that complies with the tender conditions."