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RMT announces more Southern strike dates

Strikes are planned in October, November and December Credit: Press Association

The rail union, RMT, have confirmed a series of strikes in the row over the role of guard on Southern rail trains.

Union bosses say Southern Rail is insistent on removing the safety-trained guards from the trains. It's a critical role that the RMT and disability campaigners say must stay.

The RMT describes the company's decision as a "blatant disregard for the safety and security of passengers and staff alike", leaving it with no alternative but to declare [strike] action"

These strikes are scheduled to take place:

  • 00.01 on Tuesday 11th October and 23.59 on Thursday 13th October
  • 00.01 on Tuesday 18th October and 23.59 on Thursday 20th October
  • 00.01 on Thursday 3rd November and 23.59 on Saturday 5th November
  • 00.01 on Tuesday 22nd November and 23.59 on Wednesday 23rd November
  • 00.01 on Tuesday 6th December and 23.59 on Thursday 8th December

Here is the RMT's full statement:

Yet again our members are being forced to take industrial action in a bid to maintain a safe and secure service on Southern. Govia Thameslink and the Government have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute. Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale Driver Only Operation (DOO) without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access. Last week there was a train derailment near Watford that involved two trains. The Guards on both trains played a vital role in protecting the passengers and the trains in what were extremely frightening circumstances. If the train had been DOO and without a Guard the consequences would have been far worse. This week we reached a deal with Scotrail that we are recommending for acceptance in a referendum of our members, that guarantees a fully competent Conductor/Guard on every new train. This agreement protects passengers, and guarantees a second safety trained member of staff on board a train, who can assist if there is an incident such as we recently saw near Watford. If an agreement can be reached on Scotrail, then an agreement can also be made on Southern. In the light of these recent developments it is disgraceful that neither the company or the Government are prepared to engage and are continuing to attempt to impose DOO in the interests of putting profit before safety. We call on them to get round the negotiating table as an urgent priority."

– RMT General Secretary Mick Cash

EasyJet pilots are 'too tired to fly'

EasyJet pilots want to take industrial action. Credit: PA.

Pilots for Luton-based airline EasyJet say they are getting too tired to fly because of their unforgiving rosters.

They have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over concerns about staff fatigue.

EasyJet, which flies out of Luton and Stansted airports, is in talks with union bosses to find a resolution and insists no strike action is currently planned.

Matthew Hudson reports.

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EasyJet pilots vote for industrial action - as airline makes last-minute offer

An EasyJet plane. Credit: Press Association.

Pilots at Luton-based airline EasyJet have voted to take industrial action in a dispute over fatigue.

However, their union, Balpa, has announced that talks are planned to try to resolve the row following a last-minute offer from the company.

General Secretary Brian Strutton said 96% of members at the airline voted for some form of industrial action on a turnout of 88%.

Balpa said it would issue further information tomorrow after considering the offer from EasyJet.

"For clarity that means there are no plans for pilots taking industrial action in EasyJet at this stage."

– Brian Strutton, Balpa.

Warning to 'avoid A14' after lorry crash in Cambridgeshire

Two lorries have crashed on the A14 causing big delays. Credit: @CambsCops

Drivers have been warned to avoid the A14 at Girton in Cambridgeshire after a crash between two lorries.

It happened just before 7.30am today at junction 31 of the westbound carriageway.

One lane has been closed and officers are urging drivers to avoid the area until further notice or expect long delays.

The M11 slip road has also been closed and diversions put in place via the A14 and A428 while attempts are made to move the HGVs.

Both drivers suffered minor injuries.

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Warning to drivers after object thrown from bridge smashes windscreen

Drivers on the A47 in Norfolk are being warned to be on the lookout after a series of incidents where objects were thrown from bridges on vehicles below.

In the latest, a Ford Transit van had its windscreen shattered between the Pullover and Hardwick roundabouts on Monday morning. An unknown object hit the window causing extensive damage.

A Ford Transit had it windscreen shattered on Monday morning. Credit: Norfolk Police

"It is currently unknown what has caused this damage. However, at this time, it is believed that an object may have been thrown from a flyover.

"The victim was travelling at approximately 60-70mph and if he had not acted so swiftly, or the roads were busier, the outcome could have been a lot worse."

– PC Amy Laws, Norfolk Police

On three other occasions a golf ball sized rock has been thrown into the carriageway smashing the windscreens of passing HGVs on the nearby A17.

Other incidents

  • Tuesday 5 July
  • Tuesday 19 July
  • Tuesday 6 September

"We treat reports of this nature very seriously because of the potential repercussions.

"I would like to warn motorists about this worrying trend and ask them to contact us immediately on 999 if they see someone acting suspiciously near to a flyover or the side of the road. ”

– PC Amy Laws, Norfolk Police

The 17-hour bridge demolition speeded up to just a minute

In reality it took the closure of a busy motorway and more than 17 hours to knock down a bridge but the Highways Agency has release footage of the whole operation speeded up to just over a minute.

The old Luton Road bridge across the M1 was demolished overnight on Saturday 10 September.

It's part of the £162 million project to build a dual-carriageway north of Dunstable linking the A5 and the M1.

Another bridge will be knocked down on Saturday 24 September and the M1 will be closed between junctions 11 and 12 between 8pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday.

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