Cyprus Mail

Larnaca buses threaten strike over new transport contracts

The owners of Zenon buses in Larnaca are threating to strike if a new public transport contract is signed before their appeal is heard in court.

The owners of the buses on Wednesday unanimously agreed to withdraw their vehicles in Larnaca immediately if the government were to sign the contact with the new bus consortium.

In an announcement, Zenon said they had informed chairman Pantelis Pantelides of their decision.

“Withdrawing our vehicles would be the first step for us protecting our interests and the company,” the announcement said. “We may step up measures according to how matters progress.”

The strike, if it were to go ahead, would effectively leave Larnaca without any public buses.

Tensions have risen between bus companies and the government as the transfer of the public transport contracts are due to change hands in the summer.

Malta Lines and Kapnos Airport Shuttle (MLKP) signed a concession agreement with the transport ministry in January.

The tender was won by the Malta Lines Ltd and Kapnos Airport Shuttle Ltd (MLKP) consortium back in November, but the actual signing of the contract had been held up due to legal challenges mounted by the current concessionaires.

MLKP won contracts to run buses in Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta and intercity bus routes.

The new contracts will run for 10 years (2020-2030) and is worth €175 million, plus another €83m, under the option to extend the concession by five more years.




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