COMMUTERS have been told to expect delays of up to 45 minutes on all services. It comes a day ahead of a major bus strike and as bus drivers today refuse to take fares.

The delays this morning are for all major southeast Queensland train services as TransLink races to fix a power fault at Roma Street Station.

"Airport, Beenleigh, Caboolture, Cleveland, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Redcliffe Peninsula, Shorncliffe, Springfield, and Sunshine Coast line trains are delayed in both directions due to overhead power line fault at Roma Street station. Customers can expect delays of up to 45 minutes," TransLink said on its website.

Alternative transport is being arranged to transport customers.

Delays are also expected busses on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane, as drivers prepare to walk off the job.

Brisbane's disgruntled council bus drivers will take industrial action against their employers by refusing to take fares today.

It comes as bus drivers prepared to strike from 2pm to 6pm on Friday as part of protected industrial action for the first time in 19 years.

The impending strike could endanger almost 20,000 children despite the union offering to maintain services on school routes, Brisbane City Council has warned.

Bruce Morcombe
Bruce Morcombe Warren Lynam

Bruce Morcombe yesterday said he was "absolutely concerned" for the safety of schoolchildren.

"We cannot afford to leave our kids outside schools or bus stops where they're potentially never going to be picked up," Mr Morcombe said.

"What we're suggesting is, where possible, we would ask the parents of students to organise some form of carpooling with a responsible parent."

Mr Morcombe was the driving force behind Translink's No Child Left Behind policy after his son was killed by Brett Peter Cowan when a bus failed to pick him up from Woombye in 2003.

Bus drivers are now required to stop for children regardless of the circumstances.

On Wednesday the Rail, Tram and Bus Union wrote to council offering to exempt school bus routes from the strike action after succumbing to public pressure.

But Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner said that would only help about 5500 children who caught the school buses, while the other 17,500 who caught general buses would still be at risk.

"We were always planning to allocate all available resources or drivers to these school routes, so they would have been covered regardless," Cr Schrinner said. "The reality is there's going to be chaos on Friday, which is very difficult to plan for because we don't know exactly how many drivers will be working and how many won't."

The last time bus drivers went on strike as part of protected industrial action was in 1998 over an award dispute. This industrial action, which includes union drivers refusing to collect fares today, is over enterprise bargaining negotiations.

RTBU secretary Tom Brown said council had not responded to the union's offer to exempt school routes.

"Our view is the safety of schoolchildren has been jeopardised by council because we notified them in good time to make contingent arrangements," Mr Brown said.

News Corp Australia


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