Manx government makes bus driver appeal ahead of strike

Isle of Man buses The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure is looking to save £1m

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The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure has asked residents with a Public Passenger Vehicle (PPV) licence for help during a proposed bus strike.

Last week the Unite union confirmed that Bus Vannin drivers had voted to strike over a potential £3,000 pay cut.

Graham Cregeen MHK said: "We are asking Manx residents with a full and clean PPV licence to help."

Bus Vannin management, including the director of public transport Ian Longworth, will also step into help.

Department Chief Executive Nick Black said: "Drivers with the PPV licence have already been through police checks.

'Open to negotiation'

"We have a special recruitment process in place which will include health checks and full training."

Members from the department will meet the Unite union on Tuesday for further talks.

Unite's Bobby Morton said he was "open to negotiation."

He said: "I am always optimistic but {I am] not confident the situation will change."

According to the department, the £10,000 it spends on drivers' wages a day will be used for the contingency measures.

Mr Black said: "We will do everything we can to make sure that people can operate as normal."

The department also plans to utilise the island's steam railway and electric trams.

According to Unite, 90% of the drivers voted to take action over measures which include increased driving time and the reduction of contractual hours.

The department is hoping the proposed changes will save £300,000 a year.

The three-day strike will begin on Thursday.

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