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Southern services delayed after signal problem

Arrivals page for Victoria station Credit: Mike Pearse

Many services have been delayed on Southern Rail this morning due to a signalling problem between Clapham Junction and Victoria.

Although the industrial action scheduled for next week by the ASLEF union has been suspended, passengers still faced disruption.

The arrivals page for Victoria, on the companies website, shows almost every train running late.

Action by drivers has led to one in four trains being cancelled on most days.

Southern's website is warning passengers of a reduced train service in operation today.

Southern to restore full rail service from Tuesday

Credit: PA

Southern Rail has announced it is to restore its full train service from next Tuesday after the drivers' union ASLEF has suspended its industrial action.

The train operator has said it is not possible to reintroduce the normal timetable until then as work rosters for this week have already been issued.

Southern have said that the RMT's conductors' strike on Monday 23rd January also restricts its capability to return the service to normal before then.

Credit: PA

Over 70% of its trains will be able to run during Monday's strike by the RMT union, which is 10% more than previous days of industrial action.

The long-running dispute is regarding Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains which means drivers are in sole control of the train's operation.

Gatwick Express will run again every 15 minutes from Tuesday and be extended every half an hour to Brighton until 10pm when it will run half hourly until midnight and then restart at 5am.

This will allow engineering work to continue to improve route reliability.

However, Thameslink does run an overnight service to and from Gatwick.

Credit: PA

The following routes, which were previously suspended on RMT strike days, will now operate on Monday:

  • Eastbourne – Hastings
  • Chichester – Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Lewes – Haywards Heath
  • Coastway stations (including Bognor, Littlehampton, Eastbourne, Worthing and Hastings) will regain a direct service to London

Routes which previously finished early in the evening will now run much later.

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Talks aimed at ending Southern dispute begin

Credit: PA

Talks aimed at ending the long-running dispute over driver-only trains will begin today between the ASLEF union and Southern Rail.

The train drivers' union ASLEF has agreed to suspend all industrial action on Southern Rail scheduled for next week.

The walkout was planned for 24th, 25th and 27th January.

However, industrial action by the RMT union over the role of guards, set for Monday 23rd January, will still go ahead.

The talks are to be held at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) House from today.

We are committed to finding a fair solution to this dispute. We are pleased that all parties have agreed to meet for meaningful talks.”

– TUC General Secretary, Frances O'Grady & Abellio UK HR Director, Andy Meadows

Sussex woman's 'green' response to Trump's tweet mistaking her for his daughter

A woman from Brighton has been caught up in a Twitter blunder by Donald Trump.

The President-elect mistakenly sent a tweet praising his daughter Ivanka to a researcher with the same name at Brighton and Hove City Council. It's not the first time Ivanka Majic has had messages sent to her meant for the American businesswoman.

It has since been re-tweeted more than 5000 times.

Here's Ivanka Majic, speaking earlier on Good Morning Britain:

Ivanka has responded to Trump:

Commuters hit with third day of Southern strikes

Credit: PA

Services on Southern Railway will be at a standstill again today due to another strike by drivers in the long-running dispute over driver-only trains.

Members of the ASLEF union are striking for the third time this week, severely affecting the company's 300,000 passengers.

Southern is providing 200 buses and coaches to take passengers to nearby stations which link to other rail operators.

Southern are advising passengers not to travel unless it is essential.

Drivers walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week with further strikes planned for 24th, 25th and 27th January.

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RMT announces fresh 24 hour strike in January

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The RMT union has announced a further 24 hour strike by guards for Monday 23rd January.

The walkout is part of the long running dispute with Southern Rail over the role of the conductor.

It means commuters now face strikes on 23rd January in addition to the industrial action by the ASLEF union on 24th, 25th and 27th January.

Chris Grayling attacks Corbyn for picket line remark

Chris Grayling speaking in the Commons today

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has attacked the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for saying he would be happy to join a Southern Rail picket line.

He said Jeremy Corbyn was 'putting politics before passengers'.

Labour has called for an independent review of Chris Grayling's decision to refuse proposals for Transport for London to take over Southeastern rail services.

In the Commons today, the Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said that Chris Grayling had "put party politics ahead of passengers" over the Southeastern decision.

Chris Grayling replied saying "I cannot believe what I've just heard from him. Putting party politics before passengers, in the week when the Leader of the opposition said he would join a picket line to perpetuate the unnecessary strikes on Southern Rail that are causing so much damage to passengers."

Chris Grayling speaking in the Commons today

RMT: Southern strikes cost taxpayers £6 million

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Strikes at Southern have cost taxpayers sixty million pounds according to the RMT union.

Ticket money lost from not running a service is paid for by the Government under the Southern contract.

Unlike other franchises parent company GTR is paid a set fee to manage the company as part of a complex arrangement with the Government liable for additional profit and losses.

Credit: PA

The union say new clauses are also being added to other companies contracts that will mean losses for strikes will be compensated by the Government.

The RMT say it could mean more guards jobs being lost.

Southern says its plan is safe and will improve passenger service.

They insist it is not about job losses but changes to the role of guards.

They say 100 extra staff are being employed to help passengers on trains.

As with the Southern contract, the government is inserting clauses into new franchise agreements which will mean the tax payer will bankroll Teresa May’s war on the unions.

“It is absolutely scandalous that the public purse will be footing the bill for any industrial action taken against private rail companies. We also now know that that at the same time rail bosses are going to make over £1 billion implementing the government’s policy of getting rid of guards.

“It is clear that the Southern and other disputes are nothing to do with modernising our railway and everything to do with old fashioned union busting and cost cutting.”

– Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT
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