Friday morning's forecast for the west of the regionRead the full story ›
Thames Valley Police are hunting 2 men who abducted a school girl, took her in their car and sexually assaulted her. The girl was approached by the men, who were both white, yesterday morning in the Summertown area of Oxford. Emma Wilkinson has our report
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Two train drivers were so tired - or "so fatigued" - that they passed signals at danger, at a junction to the west of Reading Station.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said both incidents happened because the drivers had not had enough sleep and, therefore, were unable to properly control the trains.
This was, in part, due to the rest facilities at Acton not being 'fit for purpose', and because the drivers were nearing the end of a long night shift.
The first incident happened at 0822 on 28th March 2015, when a freight train running from Acton to Westbury, operated by DB Schenker Rail (UK), passed a signal at danger at Reading Westbury Line Junction.
A similar incident occurred at 06:11 hrs on 3 November 2015 when another freight train, forming the same service from Acton to Westbury, and operated by the same company, passed a signal at danger at Ruscombe Junction, about seven miles east of Reading.
RAIB began an investigation into both of these incidents following the latter event at Ruscombe Junction, owing to the similarities between them.
"Both incidents occurred because the train drivers involved were too fatigued to properly control their trains; both drivers stated that they momentarily fell asleep on the approach to the signals concerned.
"Neither driver reported as unfit for duty, which was also causal to the incidents. The investigation identified underlying factors associated with supervision and management at the drivers’ home depot in Westbury, and with the general approach to the management of fatigue within the company."
As a result of this investigation, RAIB has made three recommendations covering shift planning at Westbury depot, managing people who may be suffering from tiredness, or identifying them, and look at the risk of fatigue.
RAIB has also identified two learning points concerning the importance of preparing for duty and reporting fatigue, and the role of napping (and facilities for such) within a fatigue risk management system.
Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents said: "An admission of tiredness should not be seen as a weakness - it may be the unavoidable consequence of the work and home demands placed on a driver.
"This report has highlighted the ‘real-world’ experience of freight train drivers. By necessity, many freight trains must operate at night and many drivers are required to work long and irregular shifts, often during night hours.
"This means that drivers must accommodate their sleep, home responsibilities, social life and commuting in the hours that remain – and this can be a challenge. For this reason I urge freight operating companies, their employees and trade unions to work together to find practical ways of reducing fatigue at work."
Parents in Oxford have been warned not to let their children walk to school alone after a young girl was taken off a street in the city and subjected to a serious assault. School pupils should walk together in groups.
Here's the latest news from our reporter Emma Wilkinson, on location.
Thursday afternoon's weather for the west of the regionRead the full story ›
Thursday's weather for the west of the regionRead the full story ›
Strong winds have closed the i360. The moving observation tower - the tallest in the world - is on Brighton beach. Staff are closely monitoring the weather and say it is due to improve soon.
Only last month, the attraction broke down as part of "teething problems" leaving passengers stuck in the viewing pod. Specialist engineers were called in to work on it.
The i360 opened in August and is expected to welcome around 70,000 visitors a year who can enjoy panoramic views of the Sussex coastline and South Downs national park. The pod climbs to 450 feet (138 metres).
Heathrow Airport says it will create 5,000 new jobs over the next five years if it gets approval for a third runway. It also plans a controversial congestion charge and a ban on night flights before 0530.
The airport revealed radical expansion plans today ahead of a possible third runway that could open in 2025. The plans will be subject to consultation and Government approval.
It will also spent tens of millions of pounds on insulation and other measures to help reduce nose for residents.
Overall flight numbers will rise by 25,000 a year with four million more passengers. The airport says new technology will allow this without causing more delays for existing flights.
The airport says the measures will help keep Britain competitive after Brexit with new links from airports in the UK and around the world and it will help boost the economy.
The measures are dependant on a third runway being approved. Gatwick, meanwhile, wants its plans approved - for a second runway - rather than Heathrow.
While the restriction on night flights will be welcome the 25,000 extra flights a year will be seen as extra noise and misery for hundreds of thousands under the flight paths by critics.
Here are the main points from the proposals to be implemented by 2021 ahead of a third runway being approved. Full details will be revealed at the Tory conference on Monday.
- Estimated 5,000 new jobs.
- £1.5 billion pound boost to the economy after Brexit.
- 25,000 extra flights a year. New technology and better use of existing runways will achieve this.
- Four million extra passengers a year.
- Congestion charge considered. This could be a new drop-off charge, increased car parking charges or a scheme similar to congestion charging in London. This is to help reduce emissions, fund new public transport initiatives and ensure fifty per cent of passengers arrive by public transport by 2030.
- No night flights before 0530 which is an hour later than at present
- £60 million spent on noise insulation for homes under the flight path
- New monitoring equipment to ensure noise levels are not broken.
- Better facilities for cyclists, electric cars and green transport.
Police have stepped up patrols around Cavendish Drive in Oxford today after a young girl was taken from the street - and found four hours later knocking on doors, asking for help. Here's the scene this morning.