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Southern Rail plans normal service in spite of strike

Southern Rail says services will run normally today in spite of staff strikes.

Members of the RMT union have begun a three-day strike as part of a dispute over driver-only trains.

Southern services were disrupted yesterday by a separate RMT strike over the role of conductors.

Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

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DLR workers to vote over strike action

DLR workers will vote over strike action Credit: PA

Docklands Light Railway workers are to be balloted over strike action due to disputes over pay and conditions. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will vote in the coming weeks, with a result expected on May 12.

There are two separate disputes involving this year's pay deal for directly employed staff and another row over wages for employees at the facilities company Interserve.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Our reps are in no doubt that we need to send a clear message to management that staff are prepared to fight to demand decent rewards and recognition, a safe working environment, decent working conditions and will not be forced into accepting inferior pay arrangements."

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Fare increase is the 'lowest in five years' according to Rail Delivery Group

Credit: PA

Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group representing rail operators and Network Rail, has said:

At 2.2%, the average increase in fares in 2015 is the lowest for five years. We understand no one likes to pay more, especially to go to work.

For every £1 spent on fares, 97p goes on track, train, staff and other costs while 3p goes in profits earned by train companies for running services on Europe's fastest growing railway.

We are very sorry that many passengers experienced a service well short of what they deserved last weekend. To ensure we build a better railway, Network Rail is spending £38 billion over five years alongside commitments made by train companies.

This will deliver more seats, better stations and improved journeys for passengers.

– Michael Roberts

Unions argue this year's price rises will hit passengers 'particularly hard'

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said:

This year's fare hike will hit passengers particularly hard because wages are rising so slowly.

Rail fares are now consuming a huge proportion of people's wages, leaving precious little for other bread and butter expenses.

On average passengers are now paying £600 more for a season ticket and yet seeing no change in their pay packets.

– Frances O'Grady

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:

The scandal of Britain's great rail fares rip off continues with today's hike far outstripping average pay increases, and it will once again hit those at the sharp end of the austerity clampdown the hardest.

– Mick Cash

Rail fares rise by an average of 2.2%

Rail passengers will be hit as the price of train tickets rise by an average of 2.2%.

Regulated fares, which include season tickets, are going up by 2.5% while the average increase for all fares is 2.2%.

The rail industry said the increase is the lowest since 2010 but campaigners and trade unions argue the increases are continuing to outstrip the average rise in wages.

The Campaign for Better Transport said the cost of a Milton Keynes to London season ticket had risen by 23.5% - or £930 - since January 2010. The price of a 2015 ticket is £4,888.

Passengers had to queue at Finsbury Park station last Saturday after engineering works overran. Credit: PA

The rises comes after weeks of disruption to rush-hour services. Over-running engineering work led to chaos last Saturday, with King's Cross, Finsbury Park and Paddington stations having to be closed and resulted in Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne announcing he would not be taking his annual performance-related bonus.

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