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South West Trains boss says railways are a success - but admits trouble with overcrowding

The boss of South West Trains says rail privatisation has been a success but admits some trains are too overcrowded.

Tim Shoveller, the company's Managing Director, hit back at critics who say handing over the rails to the private sector - 20 years ago - was a disaster.

Mr Shoveller started his career as a guard at Guildford 25 years ago.

He says passenger numbers have doubled to over 600,000 a day and SWT is now by far the busiest commuter railway in Europe. He says there has been record investment.

But he admits trains are overcrowded at busy times and measures are needed to urgently reduce the problem. He spoke exclusively to our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse

Rail union campaigns to retain ticket offices

The public will be asked about the closure of ticket offices Credit: ITV

The rail union RMT says it will fight any plans to close ticket offices across routes served by Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express. There will be a formal public consultation, but the union believes there will be efforts to 'bulldoze' the proposals through.

RMT is launching a campaign of opposition to these plans and we will be working with the travelling public to stop them in their tracks. These plans, driven by the desire to de-staff our railways in the quest for profit, would unleash a wave of ticket office carnage across rail franchises.

– RMT
  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, January 2016

Alex Phillips from Brighton's Green Party, Maria Caulfield the Lewes Tory MP, and Alan Whitehead MP, Lab, from Southampton; debate the crisis in the NHS and the junior doctors' strike; rail passenger anger; and a new national anthem. And music from Norman Baker's band proves there is life after politics.

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, January 2016

Alex Phillips from Brighton's Green Party, Maria Caulfield the Lewes Tory MP, and Alan Whitehead MP, Lab, from Southampton; debate the crisis in the NHS and the junior doctors' strike; rail passenger anger; and a new national anthem. And music from Norman Baker's band proves there is life after politics.

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Train delays in South East caused by sunshine

The sunshine was too strong this morning Credit: ITV

Small increase in rail fares from Monday

It's the lowest increase in six years for commuters Credit: ITV

Rail fares go upon on Monday by just over 1%. It's the lowest increase for six years, with the price pegged to low inflation levels. But passenger groups have warned that more work is needed to achieve a 'truly affordable railway', with ticket prices 25% higher than in 2010.

Rail disruption continues for thousands of passengers

Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers are facing severe disruption to services as the big shutdown of the region's railway continues: fewer trains, longer journeys and buses replacing rail. Key lines hit are to Gatwick and Brighton to London, services to London Bridge and the lines to Paddington from the Thames Valley. Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Southeastern services will shut down early on Christmas Eve

Services will shut down early on Christmas Eve Credit: ITV

Southeastern is reminding passengers that all services will shut down early for Christmas Eve.

Train passengers heading back to their families should check journey times, as services shut down slightly earlier than normal.

Early peak time services will move to between 1 and 4pm.

After this there will be a limited service with the last train leaving Charing Cross at 7.45pm (to Hastings) and 7.50 from London Cannon Street (to Orpington).

The last high speed service will depart at 21:12(Margate) and the last Victoria service will depart at 20:55 (Orpington).

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