Arriva has announced that, as a result of the ongoing regional public transport strikes, no services will be running in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Limburg on Wednesday, February 8.
Regional public transport workers striking across the Netherlands
Last week, Dutch trade unions announced a five-day national strike for regional public transport workers in the Netherlands, after negotiations over salaries and work contracts were once again unsuccessful. This marks the fourth period of industrial action for public transport in the Netherlands since September 2022.
Thousands of bus drivers, train conductors and train drivers working for regional public transport operators have been striking since Monday, affecting services operated across the country by companies such as Arriva, Qbuzz, Connexxion and Keolis.
Strikes cancel train services in Groningen, Friesland and Limburg
While so far this week Arriva has successfully managed to run at least part of its normal timetable, a one-day strike amongst workers in the Groningen region means that on February 8, Arriva says it is unable to run any train services in the provinces of Friesland and Groningen, and that regional trains in Limburg were also cancelled.
While the express bus service between Maastricht and Heerlen is running as normal, the company says on its website that it is unable “to indicate per line what is and is not running” when it comes to its other bus services.
It is not entirely clear what effect Wednesday’s strike will have on train services on February 9. Arriva says that on Thursday morning, it will “look again at which trains can run on the basis of the number of people willing to work.”
FNV: 70 percent of services not running due to strike
This week’s strike has mainly affected public transport in and around Dordrecht, Groningen and Utrecht, and in the provinces of Drenthe and Limburg where regional operators are responsible for a significant portion of the transport services.
Transport operators reported on Monday – the first day of the strike – that “only” 40 percent of services were affected, the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) says the figure was closer to 70 percent. The Christian National Trade Union (CNV) reports that, on Monday morning, thousands of workers across 97 locations nationwide announced they were joining the strike.
While the majority of public transport services in the big cities are running as normal, the strike has had serious knock-on effects on travel across the Netherlands. According to the Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB) Tuesday saw the busiest evening rush hour of the year so far, reporting over 800 kilometres of traffic jams on Dutch roads at around 5.30pm as a result of the strikes and various traffic accidents.
Thumb: Bjoern Wylezich via Shutterstock.com.
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