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Scooterists prepare for challenge

For most people, a journey from London to Dover and back is a simple matter of getting in the car or on a train - and a couple of hours later, the journey's over. But this weekend seven lads from Kent are doing that trip, both ways - on scooters.

David Johns went to see them preparing for their epic journey and spoke to Nick Hardinges and Luka Syplywczak.


Protesters support Gurkha hunger strike

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Westminster today in support of a Gurkha who's been on hunger-strike for 13 days. Gyanraj Rai is demanding that 25,000 Gurkha veterans are given the same pension rights as their British comrades.

Meanwhile, a teenage boy from Kent has launched a Government e-petition in support of the hunger striker. John Ryall reports.

Schoolboy tries to save Gurkha's life

He's just 13 years old but a remarkable schoolboy from Kent has begun a campaign to save a Gurkha veteran on hunger strike over pension rights. George Taylor has visited Gyanraj Rai near Downing Street - hoping to talk him out of his protest.

The former soldier wants the rules changed that prevent some Gurkhas receiving the same pensions as their British counterparts. It's part of a long-running campaign for equal rights. John Ryall has our exclusive report.

Rail passengers to use 'Oystercard' style tickets

It is the beginning of the end of paper rail tickets for some Southern passengers travelling into London.

Commuters using the Brighton line into the capital will be able to use smart-cards, similar to Oyster-cards, at East Croydon, Clapham Junction, London Victoria and London Bridge.

The scheme will be widened out to all London stations as of next year.

Baroness Kramer launched the new scheme yesterday.


Company who left train passengers stranded are fined

A train company has been fined £75,000 after they failed to protect the safety of passengers trapped on a broken down train at Dock Junction, London, in May 2011.

A First Capital Connect service from Brighton to Bedford lost power and became stranded for three hours.

The Office of Rail Regulation found that the company had not planned its response to deal with stranded trains or to provide those on board with accurate information.

Passengers had to call National Rail Enquiries for updates. They were also told that a rescue train would be coming during the three hours they were stranded, but it never did.

Motorcyclists' convoy from London to Brighton today

The convoy is part of the 20th Ace Café Reunion event and tens of thousands of motorcyclists are expected to attend. They travel along the anti-clockwise M25 between junction 16 and 7, the southbound M23 and the southbound A23.

Ben Wates, from the emergency planning team at the Highways Agency which is responsible for motorways and major trunk roads, said:

We are asking road users to plan their journeys and allow extra time as we are expecting the M25, M23 and A23 to be busier than normal. Highways Agency Traffic Officers at the regional control centre at Godstone will be monitoring traffic conditions and working to keep traffic flowing.

– Ben Wates, Highways Agency
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