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Drivers accept new deal to end long-running Southern Railway dispute

Southern Railway drivers look to have ended their long dispute. Credit: PA

Drivers on Southern Railway have agreed a new pay deal which ends a long-running dispute over driver-operated trains, Aslef has announced.

Services on Southern have been frequently disrupted since April 2016 due to ongoing industrial action.

Union members had been locked in dispute with the firm over the safety of driver-only operated trains (DOO).

But drivers have now voted 4-1 in favour of accepting a new deal - including a 28.5% pay rise over five years.

The agreement will come as welcome relief to Southern's 300,000 passengers, whose services had been severely interrupted.

The long-running dispute had caused commuter chaos. Credit: PA

Wednesday's announcement coincided with fresh driver strikes on four other railway lines over the role of train guards.

Strikes on South Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North lines across Wednesday and Thursday form part of the biggest disruption to rail services in decades.

But Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said the union was "pleased" with its new deal.

"Our members on Southern, after careful consideration, and long and hard negotiations, have voted to accept this resolution to our industrial dispute with the company," Mr Whelan said.

"We are pleased with a resolution which, we believe, works for the staff, and the company, and we now look forward to working with Southern Rail to restore good industrial relations and deliver the service passengers in the region deserve."