Five more days of bus strikes have been announced in London with unions angry at bus operator Metroline over its controversial 'remote sign-on' policy.

More than 4,000 bus drivers will walk out for 48 hours this month, and a further 72 hours in June, after Metroline's decision to not permanently drop the policy.

Whilst these strikes will primarily affect routes in the north and west of the capital, they follow weeks of walk-outs across south London by drivers employed by London United over pay.

Now Unite say Metroline have refused to drop its controversial remote sign on policy despite three weeks warning of industrial reaction, and say "the health & safety of our members must be our paramount consideration.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “We are commissioning an independent review into remote sign on to ensure that the impacts of any change are fully understood by all parties.

"We are pleased that Metroline has chosen to pause the introduction of remote sign on while the review takes place and we urge all parties to focus on working with us to assess the findings and resolve this issue.”

'Remote sign-on' means drivers would not report to a depot, instead meeting their bus at an alternative location on the bus route.

Unite have announced strike action against bus operators Metroline

Unite have announced strike action against bus operators Metroline

Unite say forcing drivers to start work away from the depot will reduce costs and boost the company's profits, but leads to concerns over lack of toilets and canteens, increased driving hours and waiting for buses in unpredictable weather.

Unite has also said there is no benefit to passengers as ‘remote sign-on’ could well cause disruption to services used by the hundreds of thousands of people who use buses every day to get to work and school.

Following protests in recent weeks over the issue, London Mayor Sadiq Khan instructed TfL to introduce a temporary suspension of the policy.

This means the introduction of remote sign on will be forced to wait until research is completed, but Metroline have stated it is only pausing the process.

Unite regional officer Mary Summers said: “Unite wrote to Metroline’s managing director Stephen Harris last month to give a generous and reasonable timeframe for the company to reconsider its position prior to the union issuing notice for industrial action.

“However, we warned Metroline that if we didn’t hear from the company by 10 May that it was jettisoning this misguided policy, we would be announcing strikes dates which we have now done.

“We are sorry for the disruption to the travelling public that the 48 hour and 72 hour strikes will cause, however, we firmly believe that the health & safety of our members must be our paramount consideration.”

The strike action will take place on May 25, May 26, June 7, June 8 and June 9.

A total of 96 per cent of Metroline West and 97 per cent of Metroline Travel members have voted for strike action on Metroline routes. The company employs about 16 per cent of all bus drivers in the capital.

The Metroline Travel garages that will be hit are: Brentford, Edgware, Cricklewood, Holloway, Kings Cross, Lampton, Harrow Weald, Perivale, Potters Bar, West Perivale and Willesden.

The Metroline West garages affected are: Alperton, Greenford, Uxbridge, Wallingford and Willesden.