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'Too many near misses' on our railways

There are 'too many' serious near misses on the region's rail network that could have ended in disaster. That's the view of safety watchdogs, who say death and injury are being narrowly avoided too often.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch say half of the most serious incidents over the past two years have been on the lines from our region into Paddington and Waterloo. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has the details.

Many Southern services 'still running late'

Trains are still running late because of problems at London Bridge Credit: ITV

One in five trains on the lines to London Bridge and Victoria 'are still late' despite a new timetable that gave services more time to arrive and saw some from Brighton axed.

That is the claim from members of the London Assembly who questioned rail mangers, saying far too many services were still late. Southern said the situation had improved and two per cent more trains were now on time but admitted it was still struggling to meet punctuality targets.

More criticism is expected in a survey of passengers to be published by the official passenger watchdog Transport Focus later this month.

Problems are centred on London Bridge where the number of lines into the station have been reduced to allow for the station to be rebuilt as part of the £6.5 billion Thameslink project.

Railway workers to stage two strikes next month

A new pay offer has been rejected Credit: ITV

RMT workers are to stage a 24-hour and 48-hour strike next month after rejecting a new pay offer from Network Rail.

Members of the union at Network Rail will walk out for 24 hours from 5pm on 4 June and for 48 hours from the same time on 9 June.

The workers - including signallers and maintenance staff - will also ban any overtime between 6 - 12 June.

The industrial action is expected to cause widespread disruption to rail travel.

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Plan for 'more flexibility' if you lose your train ticket

Passengers who make a genuine mistake with their train tickets will no longer be treated 'like criminals' as the Government prepares to overhaul the penalty fare system.

The group Passenger Focus - in a damning report - says that, for too long, over-zealous inspectors have unfairly penalised some people - and have even threatened them with criminal proceedings.

You can be fined £20 or twice the full single fare to the next stop - whichever is greater. The new plan urges train companies to be a bit more flexible.

Fred spoke to Jocelyn Pearson, from Passenger Focus, at Reading Station.

Landslide causes disruption for Thames Valley rail users

Disruption to rail travel between Banbury & Leamington Spa continues Credit: Bing

Rail passengers across the Thames Valley have faced misery today after a landslide blocked part of the line from Oxfordshire to the Midlands.

The landslide happened on Saturday afternoon near Harbury Tunnel in Warwickshire. The incident closed the line between Banbury and Leamington Spa.

It means services on the Chiltern Line - are seriously affected. Network Rail says it's still too dangerous to access the site as three hundred thousand tonnes of earth and rock is still moving. Callum Watkinson reports.

The interviewees are: Liam Sumpter from Network Rail; and Thomas Ableman from Chiltern Railways.

Revised timetable put in place following landslip

Rail companies say the line and surrounding area is still at risk of greater damage if the ground moves again Credit: Chiltern Railways

The line remains blocked between Banbury and Leamington Spa due to a landslip, so there are no trains are running along that line.

Engineers say there is the potential for further ground movement, so they expect the line to be closed until at least Saturday 7 February.

Chiltern Railways has published a revised timetable, and CrossCountry has also released travel advice for passengers.

Two routes are currently affected:

  • Chiltern Railways trains between Birmingham Snow Hill / Birmingham Moor Street / Stratford-upon-Avon and London Marylebone
  • CrossCountry trains between Manchester Piccadilly / Newcastle and Bournemouth / Reading / Guildford
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