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Southern services disrupted by sickness

More conductors are reporting sick Credit: ITV

Rail services at Southern are disrupted for a second successive day – this time due to staff reporting sick.

Southern reported delays and cancellations across all 10 route areas including the Brighton mainline, Gatwick Express and Sussex Coast.

A spokesman reported: “Southern services are continuing to be affected by a high level of conductor sickness.”

In a bid to reduce the recent problems guards must now have a sick note from a GP every day they are off work, and are not allowed to self-certificate.

Staff reporting sick follows a 24-hour strike yesterday by RMT union train conductors in a long running dispute which includes changes to their role, the introduction of more driver-only operated trains and the closure of some ticket offices.

InterCity 125 40th anniversary

Celebrations have been held to mark the 40th anniversary of the High Speed Train. The trains were first introduced on the lines between Paddington, Reading, Newbury and Bristol.

When they were introduced they brought a new generation of faster travel all over the country.

The event was organised by Great Western Railway and attended by locomotives from all over the country.

And enthusiasts certainly didn't want to miss the event with 5,000 attending. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse joined them.

He spoke to Great Western Railway spokesman Dan Panes, Sir Kenneth Grange who designed the train and Andy Mellors, Great Western Railway Engineering Director.


Should you be claiming rail refunds?

Most passengers don't claim compensation Credit: ITV

The process for claiming rail refunds must be made 'more passenger-friendly', according to the rail regulator. New figures show 80 percent of passengers don't claim compensation they are entitled to. The Office of Rail and Road said operators needed to make the claims process easier for passengers by making people aware of their rights.


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.

  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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