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FIRST Bus drivers in Weymouth and Bridport were set to vote today, February 27, on a pay offer made following strike action.

It comes after 60 Unite union members staged a series of walk-outs in a dispute over wages.

The dispute centres on drivers’ pay, currently £8.30 an hour, which the union says has dramatically fallen behind their regional counterparts.

Union regional officer Bob Lanning said: “The offer works out as a 2.5 per cent for 2013 and 3.5 per cent increase for 2014.

“Unite is recommending that drivers accept this. It is a ‘no strings attached’ offer and a decision will be made at the end of the ballot day.”

Most buses ran during the last strike with managers and supervisors from across Dorset, Hampshire and Berkshire brought in to cover.

Meanwhile, First has announced an overhaul of fares and tickets on its services in Dorset and east Devon from Saturday, March 1.

Many return journeys will cost £1 more than a single journey of £2.50 and over. The First Dorset region will also be split into fare zones.

This enables both adult and child singles and return fares to be available between each zone that is linked by a direct bus route.

Customers will be able to buy one through ticket rather than several on each leg of their journey. These tickets will replace day tickets and give customers the option of breaking their journeys.