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Published: 2008-11-21 00:00:00

Environment Waikato says Hamilton bus services are expected to operate to their normal timetable over the weekend, despite a planned lock out of union member drivers by their employer Go Bus.

The industrial dispute comes as drivers who are members of the Northern Distribution Workers Union are involved in pay negotiations with the company.

"We’ve been advised by Go Bus that they have enough staff to operate Saturday and Sunday buses as per the timetable," said EW’s land transport operations manager Bevan Dale.

"If the lock out continues into next week, Go Bus are planning to run the same restricted service that has operated today."

The restricted service would mean that peak hour Direct services between the central city and Dinsdale, Pukete and Rototuna are not due to operate on weekdays. Other week day peak hour services would operate normally between 6am and 9.30am, and from 3.30pm to 7pm.

Off-peak week day services between 9.30am and 3.30pm would only be running hourly, instead of the normal half-hourly service.

Also, Orbiter and CBD Shuttle services would be less frequent.

All weekday services would finish at 7pm – normally buses would finish much later in the evening.

Environment Waikato – responsible for managing bus service contracts in Hamilton – said it was monitoring the situation closely and would promptly advise the public of any new information regarding services during the dispute.

"Our main concern is that we want to see full services to Hamilton passengers resumed as soon as possible," said Mr Dale.

"We hope the company and union member drivers can resolve their dispute quickly as thousands of Hamiltonians rely on buses to get about.

"EW’s success in expanding bus use in Hamilton has relied, in part, on building passenger confidence in the reliability of the network. Anything which dents that confidence has the potential to restrain future growth in bus use, something not in the interests of our drive to ease traffic congestion and provide more services in future."

For more information on bus times during the dispute visit, call 0800 4 BUSLINE, or ask at the Transport Centre on the corner of Bryce and Anglesea Streets.