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Train maintenance workers to stage 24-hour strike

Workers at a train maintenance company with sites at locations including Eastleigh in Hampshire are to go on strike in a pay dispute.

Members of the Rail Maritime & Transport Workers union (RMT) employed by Arriva TrainCare are to stage a 24 hour walkout on Friday 19th May.

The RMT said the strike was being held because Arriva TrainCare was not prepared to negotiate pay issues because the RMT was not the recognised union for Arriva TrainCare employees.

"RMT members at Arriva TrainCare delivered a massive yes vote for action and the company should wake up and take notice of the anger amongst their workforce over the pay issue.

"Instead they have ignored their staff and offered an insulting increase that systematically undermines our members' standard of living.

"Our members are entitled to be represented by the union they are members of so we can get on with our job and negotiate decent pay and conditions on their behalf."

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

Arriva TrainCare is based in Crewe and has sites in Bristol, Gateshead, Cambridge and Eastleigh.

Bluewater expansion raises fears about local impact

It is a sign of the times - large out of town shopping centres with free parking drawing shoppers away from struggling high streets.

Now that Bluewater in Kent has been granted permission to expand, there are fears about the effect it could have on local town centres in Gravesend and Dartford.

As Sarah Saunders reports.

Sarah spoke to shop owner, Kevin Cheema.


Candles protect grape vines from cold snap

The candles are protecting the grape vines Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Hundreds of candles have been lit in the vineyard of Waitrose's Leckford Estate farm in Hampshire to protect the grape vines from the late spring frost, as the cold snap continues. The candles are used to create air movement and stop the frost from taking hold around the vines.

New project to restore oysters to The Solent

The Solent was once the largest oyster fishery in Europe. Its waters were reknowned for the mollusc - known as 'the poor man's food' because it was so abundant.

However, over-fishing brought the Solent oyster to the brink of extinction until catching them was banned in 2013.

Now a major environmental project - fronted by TV presenter Ben Fogle, aims to restore the oyster population there by putting millions back. Martin Dowse reports.

More goods should be sent by rail, says new research

New research says more goods should be sent by rail Credit: ITV

Sending more goods by trains instead of lorries could reduce traffic on some of the South's roads - according to new research.

The Campaign for Better Transport says taking 2,000 lorry loads a day to the railways could be the equivalent of taking 8,000 cars off the road in the UK.

One of the roads used in the research was the A34 which runs between Southampton and the Midlands.

The campaign is now calling on the Government to continue their investment in the rail freight network.


Southern passengers forced to move or give up jobs

Many passengers have been forced to move or give up jobs Credit: ITV

The strikes at Southern have led to the loss of around 30,000 passenger journeys a day, according to company figures published today.

Revenue is down by five per cent. Under the contract the Government takes any financial hit because it is a fixed management contract with the taxpayer seeing any profit or loss.

Many passengers have been forced to move or give up jobs because of a year of misery over the year-long dispute.

The latest trading statement from Go-Ahead, who own Southern, reveals that overall passenger numbers for its GTR franchise are down by 3.5 per cent.

The company figures are for all of its GTR brands - Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern - who carry 800,000 a day. It is thought the vast majority of losses are strike related.

Meanwhile the company say services are now improving and they continue to talk to the unions:

'It's completely unrecognisable'. Four years on what's become of the site of the Second Battle of Hastings?

They called it the 'second Battle of Hastings' - when environmental campaigners descended on a small corner of Sussex in a bid to stop a link road from being built.

For seven weeks the resulting protests caught national attention, but four years on what has been the fate of Combe Valley?

A year ago the road between Bexhill and Hastings was finally opened at a cost of some £127million but how has the landscape adapted as more developments are planned?

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to environmental campaigners Andrea Needham and Anthony Bradnum, as well as John Shaw, chief executive of Sea Change Sussex.

Major delays in and out of London Waterloo for passengers heading to the capital or the coast

Woking station was even more crowded than usual as delayed passengers boarded trains Credit: Amanda Compton News Agency

Tens of thousands of rail commuters from the South faced long delays and cancellations into London Waterloo this morning because of emergency engineering works on the main line into the capital.

Four platforms at London Waterloo station are closed and passengers may face until this afternoon.

A skeleton service is running from many stations with some services from Salisbury, Wilts and Southampton, Hants terminating at Basingstoke meaning passengers battled to fight a seat on other services. This is because Waterloo had to reduce the number of trains arriving from the south coast and station in-between.

The length of delays has varied and South West Trains say have averaged around half-an-hour. Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Onboard the trains, many passengers had to stand all the way to the capital Credit: Amanda Compton News Agency
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