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South Western Railway start ballot for strike action

Credit: ITV Meridian

Hundreds of guards at South Western Railway have begun voting in a strike ballot in protest at driver only operation.

The RMT says the new company has plans to change the role of its members.

The union say safety will be at risk.

SWR says it has no plans to cut staff but hasn't ruled out changes to working practices.

The ballot result is due later this month.

Credit: ITV Meridian

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Bats dictate timing of major repairs to city's bridge

Drivers in Oxford are being advised to plan their journeys as work begins on one of the main routes into the city today.

Folly Bridge has been partially closed for four weeks for repairs from today. The stone bridge over the River Thames - which carries the Abingdon Road south from the town centre - is down to one lane.

Stonework on the bridge's arch has been damaged as a result of water penetration and frost over the years, meaning repairs are essential. The council says the works have to be done at this time - due to the presence of bats - a protected species - which can only be excluded from the structure at specific times of year.

It's hoped the repairs will be completed by 20th October - in time for the Westgate Centre's re-opening.

Public transport operators are warning of disruption to services:

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