AA advises drivers to plan in bid to avoid major congestion on roads.

More than 500 bus trips on various routes will not run tomorrow due to strike action which will likely cause congestion chaos across much of Auckland.

There are nine services that will not operate and 131 school bus routes will also be affected.

The strike begins tomorrow at 4am. Services will return to normal at 5.30am on Saturday.

Drivers are striking over pay and work conditions.


Auckland Transport (AT) says there is likely to be heavy congestion on roads tomorrow and suggests commuters consider taking alternative buses, a train or a ferry, working from home, walking, cycling, sharing rides or travelling at different times of the day.

And Automobile Association (AA) spokesman Barney Irvine said he hoped Aucklanders would plan their commute in advance.

"There will be a hell of a lot of more traffic on the roads and it will be a pain."

Bus services affected are Metrolink, North Star, Go West and Waka Pacific, CityLink, InnerLink, OuterLink, NiteRider and some Howick & Eastern.

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Some school bus services will also be affected.

An AT spokesman emphasised specific services were cancelled, rather than entire routes.

A full list of services cancelled is available at the AT website.

Yesterday the transport agency hit out at First Union for handing out pamphlets on Howick & Eastern buses saying workers were "under attack from the management of Howick & Eastern and Auckland Transport".

A spokesman for AT said claims the agency was in any way involved in the dispute over wages between the bus company and its staff were "blatantly untrue".

First Union organiser Rudd Hughes said the pamphlets explained AT's tendering process was problematic for drivers because it worked to drive their wages down.

"It's putting companies into a spin and making the bargaining process difficult," he said.

The strike comes after almost two months of industrial action by drivers.

NZ Bus, whose staff are represented by Tramways Union, has offered drivers a 1.7 per cent wage increase, taking hourly rates to $20.75 an hour. The union is asking for $21.

The strikes will be followed next week by depot stopworks for union meetings and from February 29, drivers will not accept cash fares on certain days.

Bus services affected:

From 4am Friday 19 until 5.30am Saturday 20:

• Link

• MetroLink

• GoWest

• NorthStar

• Waka Pacific

• Most NiteRider services

• Some Howick & Eastern Buses.

For more info visit: www.AT.govt.nz or ring the AT call centre: (09) 366 6400.