More than 1,000 bus drivers in London are set to walk out over the August bank holiday weekend over a pay dispute.

Trade union Unite said 1,600 drivers at bus company London United would strike on Sunday and Monday, adding disruption to services which could affect those attending the Notting Hill Carnival.

Unite claims the dispute is a result of the workers only being offered a pay increase of 3.6% for 2022 and 4.2% for next year, saying it would be a “real terms pay cut” because of the real inflation rate (RPI) stands at 12.3%.

General secretary Sharon Graham said French firm RATP, which owns London United, was “an incredibly wealthy” company that could afford to raise wages.

News Shopper: London bus drivers to walk out over bank holiday weekend amid pay dispute (PA) London bus drivers to walk out over bank holiday weekend amid pay dispute (PA)

She added: “It (RATP) can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase, but it is refusing to do so.

“Our members play a vital role in keeping London moving and they are not going to accept a real terms pay cut when they are already worried about how to make ends meet.”

The bus workers involved operate from depots in Fulwell, Hounslow, Hounslow Heath, Park Royal, Shepherd’s Bush and Tolworth.

The Park Royal, Shepherd’s Bush and Stamford Brook depots all serve routes which are in the vicinity of the carnival.

August Bank Holiday London bus strikes set to disrupt Notting Hill event

The carnival is traditionally held on the August bank holiday weekend and is normally attended by around two million people.

This year’s event will return to the streets of Notting Hill for the first time since 2019 after being affected by the pandemic over the past two years.

Unite regional officer Michelle Braveboy added: “Strike action will inevitably cause considerable disruption and delays across west and south London, including for the carnival, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.”

But a spokesperson for Transport for London (TFL) said: “The carnival won’t be severely disrupted due to only a small number of bus routes being cancelled.

“TfL is doing everything it can to reduce the impact of the strike action and is running as many bus services as possible, however customers are advised to check before they travel and leave extra time for their journeys.”

A spokesperson for RATP said: “RATP Dev Transit London remains committed to resolving the dispute as soon as possible and we urge Unite to reconsider our invitation to return to the negotiating table.

“In these difficult times, we are very concerned that should these strikes go ahead, our drivers will be out of pocket for three consecutive weeks and passengers will continue to suffer disruption.

“We call on Unite to return to the negotiating table so that drivers can receive their pay rise and we can restore services to passengers without further delay.”