Almost no buses or trams in Antwerp Province due to strike at dispatching centre

Few if any buses or trams are running in the whole of Antwerp Province today due to a strike by dispatchers and the Flemish public transport company De Lijn’s provincial dispatching centre. Today’s action is a part of a week of industrial action by members of the socialist trades union ACOD. With the dispatchers out on strike the safety of passengers cannot be guaranteed. Hence trams and buses will remain at their depots for the duration of the strike.     

De Lijn’s Annelies Meynaerts told VRT News that the dispatching centres has a similar role to that of air traffic control in aviation.    

"It monitors all the buses and trams that are on the roads. It also provides the first point of contact to drivers if something untoward happens. However, if the dispatch centre is not manned it would be irresponsible to allow buses and trams onto the roads”, Ms Meynaerts said.   

Although the lion’s share of buses and all tram services in Antwerp province are not running it is possible that some routes that operate between places in Antwerp province and locations in other provinces (Limburg, Flemish Brabant, East Flanders) might run as normal as they fall under a different provincial dispatching centre.   

De Lijn apologises to passengers for any inconvenience caused. Staff at De Lijn have been taking industrial action all week as part of an ongoing dispute on a series of grievances.