BUS drivers are on strike again today as a dispute over pay rumbles on.

Workers at Arriva North West are staging a walkout after rejecting the latest pay offer from the company.

Around 2,000 members of staff are expected to take part in the 24-hour strike action today, including workers at Bolton's Fold Road depot.

No planned Arriva bus services in Greater Manchester and Lancashire will run as a result of the strike.

Unions Unite and GMB labelled the latest pay offer of an additional penny an hour 'derisory' and refused to call off the strike action.

The offer was rejected by 83 per cent of the workforce on an 85 per cent turnout.

Further strikes are also planned throughout December and in the run up to Christmas on December 4, 7, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22 and 23.

During the latest strike day earlier this month around 30 employees picketed outside the Bolton depot.

Unite regional organiser. John Boughton, said: “Unite warned Arriva’s management last week that an offer of a penny an hour, which is not even enough to buy a tin of beans after an entire week’s work, would not end this dispute.

“Unite deplores the despicable way that the company is trying to garner public support through the press, by publishing drivers’ pay terms and conditions completely out of context. Drivers are on different rates and terms and conditions.

“The highest paid director at Arriva has more paid into his pension per annum than the average North West bus driver gets paid in the year.

“Throughout this dispute our members have received magnificent support from businesses and the general public who understand that our members deserve a proper pay rise.

“Our members fully understand that 10 days of strikes before Christmas will be inconvenient for the general public. This action is a final resort and is directly due to Arriva’s management’s refusal to enter into realistic negotiations.”

During the last day of strike action the 510 Bolton to Bury and 574 services to Wigan did not run.

The 575 service to Wigan, 541 Bolton to Toppings Estate and 545 Bolton to Oldhams Estate operated on a limited service.

Seven days of strike action have already been held during the ongoing dispute.

Phil Stone, MD for Arriva North West, said: "We are deeply disappointed that people are facing yet more disruption.

"An extended strike in the run up to Christmas will have a serious impact on people’s lives and the local economy. We believe that it is now time for proper mediated talks with the unions to break the deadlock so our staff and passengers can get back to normal before Christmas."