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Xplore Dundee bus strike: Key details including which services aren’t running

Staff have resumed industrial action after rejecting a fresh pay offer.

Xplore Dundee bus staff on the picket line
Xplore Dundee bus staff on the picket line. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson

Bus passengers are facing more disruption as staff at Xplore Dundee go on strike once again.

About 200 workers at the firm are taking industrial action after refusing a second pay offer.

Workers initially walked out on June 12 but just days later the strike was suspended to allow staff to be balloted on a potential new deal.

However, workers rejected that and have returned to the picket line – meaning more upheaval for passengers.

We answer key questions about the strike action.

Why are Xplore staff on strike?

Staff at the firm turned down a 7% pay offer earlier this year.

With Xplore refusing to meet union demands for a better offer, workers were then balloted by Unite the Union on industrial action – with most voting in favour.

The first phase of the strike started on Monday June 12.

However, talks resumed and a fresh deal was put on the table days later.

The details of that offer have not been revealed but it is understood some are unhappy about the pay rise being offered for next year.

Xplore insists its offers – which have been accepted by others working for parent firm McGill’s – have been fair and that drivers in Dundee are already among the best-paid in the country.

When will the strike end?

Unite members plan on taking strike action until September 3, unless a deal can be reached before that point.

It is unclear what will happen beyond September if the two sides cannot get an agreement by then.

How are Xplore Dundee bus services affected by the strike?

During the strike action, several Xplore Dundee services are running to a modified Sunday timetable from Monday June 26.

This means buses are running less frequently and most evening services will not operate.

The following services are running to a modified Sunday timetable, roughly every 30 to 60 minutes until early evening:

  • 1 – city centre to St Mary’s via King’s Cross Hospital, The Stack and Ardler
  • 5/5a – Ninewells Hospital to Barnhill via Menzieshill, West End, city centre, Gardyne Campus and Broughty Ferry
  • 10 – Ninewells Hospital to Broughty Ferry via Lochee, St Mary’s, Kirkton, Fintry and Douglas
  • 17 – Ninewells Hospital to Whitfield via Menzieshill, Lochee, city centre, Pitkerro Road and Asda Milton
Front-on view of the number 17 Xplore Dundee bus
The number 17 bus will run to a reduced timetable. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson
  • 18 – city centre to Claverhouse via Clepington Road, Kingsway campus and Kirkton
  • 22 – Ninewells Hospital to Craigowl via Menzieshill, Blackness Road, city centre, Hilltown and Strathmartine Road
  • 28 – Myrekirk to Douglas via Charleston, Lochee, city centre, Arbroath Road and Craigie
  • 32 – city centre to Fintry via Stobswell, Pitkerro Road, Linlathen and Morrisons
  • 33 – city centre to Whitfield via Stobswell, Mill o’ Mains and Fintry

Xplore says the Fly service, which takes people directly to and from Edinburgh Airport every 90 minutes, is continuing to run as normal.

Which buses are not running during the strike?

The following services have been suspended during strike action:

  • 2 – city centre to Kingsway Retail Park via The Glens, The Stack and Dryburgh
  • 6 – city centre to Ninewells Hospital via Perth Road, Logie, Elmwood and Gowrie Park
  • 23 – Woodside circular via Woodside, Maryfield and Stobswell
Xplore Dundee buses in Dundee city centre, partly obscured by glass bus shelters
Xplore Dundee buses in the city centre. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson

School services in Dundee and Fife have also been suspended – this includes the 4S, the 5S, the 6S, the 10S, the 14S, the 17S and the 18S.

The Discover Dundee open-top bus tour is not running during the strike.

Advice for NHS patients

NHS patients are being urged to plan ahead due to the impact on buses that serve several health centres and hospitals.

Advice includes:

  • NHS Tayside hospital and healthcare services are running as usual and patients should continue to attend for appointments
  • Anyone with concerns about being able to attend their appointment or who needs to reschedule their appointment should contact the phone number on their appointment letter
  • Ninewells Hospital car parks may be busy – leave with plenty of time to find a space and find out more about parking on the NHS Tayside website

Can you get a refund on your ticket?

Many passengers who pay for monthly tickets have taken to social media to ask whether they are entitled to a refund if they cannot use buses during the strike.

The Courier has asked Xplore Dundee for clarification but so far, the operator has not provided a response.

We will update this article if Xplore confirms its stance.

What are the other travel options?

Options for getting to and from many of the communities served by Xplore buses are limited.

Stagecoach East Scotland runs several services in the Dundee area – mainly through the city centre – which may provide passengers with an alternative.

The Stagecoach Dundee network (click to reveal full size).

Timetables are available on the Stagecoach website.

Moffat and Williamson also runs a small number of local services.

Anyone travelling between Dundee city centre and Broughty Ferry can also use ScotRail trains.