There are calls for the Government to intervene in the ongoing row between the rail operator Southern and its staff.
The calls for action comes as guards have walked out again in a dispute over driver-only operated trains. Thousands of passengers have had their journeys disrupted with services being cancelled or reduced. But the Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP, has said she does not think it is the Government's job to step in. She has called for an end to the dispute.
The Campaign for Better Transport wrote to the Minister for Rail, Claire Perry MP, and urged her to take action over what the organisation called 'the failing Southern Rail franchise'.
“The ongoing problems with Govia Thameslink need to be urgently addressed. Passengers have now endured many months of cancellations and delays, so it is an outrage that the Government recently amended their franchise agreement to allow even more cancellations.
“The Department for Transport must take urgent action to restore public confidence in the franchise, to ensure passengers receive greatly improved services and appropriate compensation, to enforce franchise commitments, and to agree mechanisms so performance levels do not fall to such levels again. When train operators let down passengers, it is only right that they face penalties.”
Part of the M4 through Berkshire won't re-open until tomorrow morning after a lorry crash, which killed its driver.
A number of major roads across the Thames Valley have been at a standstill all day, with drivers caught in miles of tailbacks.
The lorry, carrying engine parts, crashed into the central reservation between junction 12 for Theale and junction11 for Reading, just before 5am. The eastbound carriageway - has been closed all day, with drivers diverted through Wiltshire, North Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
Reading town centre remains gridlocked this evening - several hours after the accident. Mel Bloor has our report.
The M4 eastbound remains closed between junction 13 (Chieveley) and junction 11 (Reading) after a lorry overturned at 5am this morning.
The outside lane on the westbound side of the M4 in the area also remains closed. Highways England said the accident recovery of the vehicle could take a long time.
The carriageway will have to be resurfaced before it can be used by traffic again because a lot of oil has leaked onto the road.
The recovery team includes workers and contractors from Highways England and Thames Valley Police. Motorists are being advised to delay their journeys if they can.
Highways England provides live traffic information. A diversion is in place via the A34, A303 and M3. Drivers heading to London can also use the northbound A34 and M40 route.
The police confirmed that the lorry driver died in the incident, and his next of kin have been informed.
Rail services have been suspended on South West Trains between London Waterloo and Twickenham, between London Waterloo and Ascot and between London Waterloo and Hounslow due to a lineside fire discovered earlier this morning at Vauxhall.
This is expected to continue until later this morning. A limited commuter service is in operation to and from London Waterloo, however passengers are advised not to travel into Waterloo unless it is absolutely necessary.
There are delays on Southern trains at Gatwick Airport due to speed restrictions and defective track.
There is queueing traffic on exit slip road on M20 coastbound at J11A (Channel Tunnel). The queues are due to delays at Eurotunnel following an earlier service problem.
Today's talks to avert further strike action by conductors on Southern trains who belong to the RMT union have broken down.
Conductors walked out on two days this week over plans to change the guard role - and to run driver only trains.
Steve Hedley, the Assistant General Secretary, of the RMT union told ITV Meridian that the managers of Southern had just walked out of the negotiations. He was interviewed by ITV Meridian Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.
Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers have been affected by the cancellation of hundreds of trains in a 2-day walkout by train guards.Read the full story ›
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has confirmed that it has instructed its members who are conductors on Southern trains not to book on for work between:
- 11.00 hours on Tuesday 26th April 2016 until 10.59 hours on Wednesday 27th April 2016
- 11.00 hours on Tuesday 10th May 2016 until 10.59 hours on Wednesday 11th May 2016
- 11.00 hours on Thursday 12th May 2016 until 10.59 hours on Friday 13th May 2016.
The industrial action is over plans to introduce trains without conductors, otherwise called 'Driver Only Operation' (DDO) services. The union says that the move threatens its members jobs, working conditions and public safety. The call for strikes and other measures follows a union ballot.
Trains conductors working for Southern Rail are expected to hold a number of 24-hour strikes in a row over the introduction of driver-only trains.
The move follows a vote by RMT union members.