POLICE were called to picket lines the Jackson Street bus depot this morning following allegations of a dispute was allegedly sparked by a driver trying to attend work.

Arriva bus drivers were striking outside the depot, after disputes over pay between unions and firm bosses.

But officers were called at 6am to the depot.

A police spokesman said they attended following a an argument at the scene.

There were no assaults and no arrests have been made, a police spokeswoman said.

However, union representatives deny the reports of an argument, saying that they had a discussion with a fellow employee.

Mick Stewart, Unite secretary of St Helens’ North West 42 branch, said:

“This morning we were told that a colleague wanted to go to work for his own reason.

“The firm called police to escort him in fearing we would threaten or intimidate him, we didn’t.

“We spoke to him, he still decided to go in, but we would not permit the bus to cross the picket line.

“Thirty minutes later because of this, he decided to go home.”

He said further strike action is scheduled to take place on Monday, November 20, Monday, November 27. There are fears further strike action could rumble on through December.

Mick added: “Arriva won’t increase their offer. They are only wanting to talk but not wanting to give a pay rise in line with inflation.

“It can only stop if Arriva make the decision to bring fair numbers to the table.

“We apologise for the inconvenience to commuters, but Arriva are making this continue by being unfair to their workers.”

Phil Stone, regional managing director for Arriva North West, said: "We held a further meeting with the unions (last week) to try and reach a settlement on pay.

“The company requested that ACAS were in attendance to help keep the talks on track, unfortunately the Union turned this offer down.

“It is extremely disappointing that despite the company making an improved pay offer for all depots of up to 2.75 per cent, the Union increased their demands from an average of 2.85 per cent to 3.15 per cent for the 2017 pay award.

“Whilst we have done our utmost to try and reach a settlement and prevent any further damaging strike action, the Union seem determined to cause further disruption to our passengers.

“We can only apologise once again to everybody that is inconvenienced by the ongoing strike action.”

Customers with Arriva pre-paid tickets travelling in Merseyside will be able to use them on the Merseyrail network, and throughout the North West on corresponding Northern Rail routes.

Arriva tickets will continue to be accepted on Stagecoach Quality Network Routes in Merseyside.