Bus drivers have walked out in a 24-hour strike.

A total of 180 First bus staff went out on strike today at 3.30am , according to Unite the Union, over proposed contracts for new drivers.

At least 18 services will be cancelled by the action, which follows seven months of pay and conditions talks between staff and their employer.

There were picket lines at the First bus depot on Old Fieldhouse Lane in Deighton and at Huddersfield Bus Station on Upperhead Row.

Flags bearing the red Unite logo were being waved by two dozen striking workers , while at the bus station leaflets were given out to inform commuters why they had taken the action.

Speaking on behalf of the striking staff, Phil Bown, regional officer for Unite, said: “First has gone back on its word.

“We agreed upon an offer of pay and conditions in July but when it came to signing the agreement in September they reneged on the offer and breached our agreement by setting out new conditions.

“They negatively affected new starters, who under the proposed conditions will get four weeks holiday and eight days leave which is a cut from the five weeks and 10 days.

“The proposed conditions will also negatively affect some drivers who’ve been here a few years.

“We’ve not taken this decision lightly and balloted our members three times but it’s important to show solidarity with new employees.”

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Colin Smith, a shop steward for the Huddersfield First Bus Unite members, was at the bus station, which was a little quieter than usual.

He said: “We’ve been given no choice but to take this action and are sorry for the impact this strike will have on commuters.

“But people I’ve talked to have said they are behind us and I hope other people will understand why this is happening.”

Inside the bus station reactions to the strike were mixed.

Bus passengers pass Unite union members on the picket line outside Huddersfield Bus Station.

Commuter Carlos Cotreia, said: “If they’re doing it to make their conditions better then of course they should be able to strike but at the same time we are the ones who are suffering.”

Services affected today

Service Places served Service provision
181 Huddersfield - Wilberlee Special hourly service
183 Huddersfield - Marsden No service
184 Huddersfield - Oldham - Manchester Normal service
185 Huddersfield - Marsden No service
186 Huddersfield - Marsden No service
200 Huddersfield - Old Fieldhouse Lane No service
231 Huddersfield - Wakefield No First journeys
232 Huddersfield - Wakefield No First journeys
262 Huddersfield - Upper Heaton Circular No First journeys
301 Huddersfield - Golcar No service
302 Huddersfield - Golcar May have a special hourly service
306 Huddersfield - Newsome May have a special hourly service
307 Huddersfield - Newsome May have a special hourly service
308 Huddersfield - Honley - Holmfirth No service
310 Huddersfield - Honley Bridge - Holmfirth - Hepworth Special hourly service
Hudds - Holmfirth only
314 Huddersfield - Honley Bridge - Holmfirth - Holme Special hourly service
Hudds - Holmfirth only
316 Huddersfield - Honley Bridge - Holmfirth - Parkhead No service
323 Huddersfield - Marten Nest No service
324 Huddersfield - Meltham May have a special hourly service
327 Huddersfield - Brackenhall No service
328 Balmoral Avenue - Huddersfield - Bradley Special hourly service
Huddersfield - Bradley
No service to/from Balmoral Avenue
342 Huddersfield - Almondbury No service - use 372
356 Huddersfield - Longwood No service
358 Huddersfield - Ashenhurst Special hourly service
360 Huddersfield - Brackenhall No service
363 Huddersfield - Bradford No service - use X6/X63
370 Rawthorpe - Huddersfield - Salendine -
Lindley - Hospital - Huddersfield - Rawthorpe
Special hourly service
371 Dalton - Huddersfield - Lindley - Huddersfield - Dalton No service - use 370/372
372 Almondbury - Huddersfield - Hospital - Lindley Special hourly service
373 Huddersfield - New College No service - use 370
387 Huddersfield - Beaumont Park No service
398/399 Huddersfield - Storthes Hall Normal service
501/503 Huddersfield - Halifax Normal service
537 Huddersfield - Stainland - Halifax No service
539 runs as normal
Stainland - Halifax
549 Huddersfield - Brighouse -Halifax Normal service
X6 Huddersfield - Bradford - Leeds Normal service
X11 Parkhead - Holmfirth - Huddersfield No service
X63 Huddersfield - Bradford Special hourly service

Another passenger Smita Ghosh added: “I’m not sure if it’s a good enough reason to go on strike.

“It hasn’t affected me personally but will affect a lot of people.

“However, action like this can be worth it to get better conditions.”

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