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Vodafone's £100m investment means 1,400 jobs

Newbury-based Vodafone has announced a £100 million pound investment in High Street shops over the next year. The company's UK base is in the town - and the Prime Minister is there today, meeting staff.

Vodafone has a long association with Newbury. The company began its life there - and the first mobile phone call was made from London to Newbury in 1985. Today's announcement means 150 new retail shops - and 1,400 more jobs.

Can Manston's closure be averted?

by Nashreen Issa @NashITV

Talks that could have saved Manston Airport in Kent from closure have collapsed. Meridian sources say negotiations between the airport's owners and a potential buyer broke up in disagreement over the asking price of around 8 million pounds.

But we understand there's a second potential investor who could yet salvage the deal. Our reporter Nashreen Issa has the story.

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Heathrow Express staff in row over jobs and pay

Heathrow Express
Heathrow Express Credit: PA Images

Staff on the Heathrow Express rail service are to be balloted for industrial action in a row over jobs, pay and spending cuts.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of action, including strikes.

The union says around 200 jobs are under threat because of cuts resulting from the Airport's budget reduction.

Acting general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT does not buy for a moment the case for handing out savage cuts to Heathrow Express when Heathrow is generating hand-outs to shareholders of over £600 million.

"The Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services are dealing with growing demand as the airport expands and the idea that safety and service is going to be sacrificed at the stroke of an accountant's pen would shame London and leave these high-profile services extremely vulnerable.

"RMT will mount a massive publicity and political campaign, backed up by industrial action, to stop these outrageous and dangerous cuts dead in their tracks."

Rail firms to invest £1.2 billion on South's trains

Network Rail and South West Trains are promising more trains, improved stations and more seats for rail passengers travelling through Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. The alliance between the two firms will invest £1.2 billion in a five-year scheme that starts tomorrow.

The money will be spent on the rail network connecting Waterloo to Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and beyond between now and 2019. The investment is part of a wider programme to deliver an extra 115,000 seats a day into the capital by 2019 - an increase in capacity of 20 per cent.

"The growth we are managing now is phenomenal - more than 95m passengers at Waterloo with us every year -there is a clear need to improve the railway in the area.

"Improving Waterloo is a key part of our strategic plan and it will benefit passengers across our network, not just in London. In the next five years we are delivering longer trains between Reading, Ascot and Waterloo, 10-car trains throughout our suburban network.To do this, we need to upgrade the power supply and extend a number of platforms to cope with the extra demand. We also will run additional capacity on some of our main line routes.

"We are also working on plans to improve the resilience of the railway to extreme weather and renewing our focus on safety. While we are the safest railway of our size in Europe, we are not complacent - particularly when it comes to level crossings and the safety of our workforce.

"The next five years will make a huge difference to everyone who travels by train and we are committed to delivering a better, safer, more reliable railway for them."

– Tim Shoveller, Managing director, Network Rail/ South West Trains Alliance,
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