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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

Pest controller finds super-rat in up-market beach resort

It was as big as a cat - pest control officer Terry Walker said it was the largest rat he has seen in twenty years.

His find has led to fears of a 'winter invasion' by poison-resistant super rats.

The rat was trapped in up-market Sandbanks in Dorset, but other super-specimens have been seen in built-up areas around Poole High Street.

Richard Slee reports:

Interviewees: Terry Walker, Pest Controller Iain Turner, National Pest Technician Association

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