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Southern trains & RMT union talks break down over changes to guard role on trains

Train conductors on strike earlier this week

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.

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Southern train conductors to strike in April & May

Southern trains conductors are to strike

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.

Southern train conductors to stage 24-hour strikes

The rail operator wants to introduce conductor-less trains along its routes

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.

Rail conductors vote to take industrial action over jobs

The RMT railworkers' union has said that conductors on Southern rail services have voted by massive majorities to take industrial action.

Southern services are operated by Govia Thameslink Railway. The ballot for a strike and for other non-strike action is over the introduction of Driver Only Operation (DOO) on trains. The union says that operating trains with just a driver - and without conductors - is a move that threatens jobs, conditions and public safety.

Rail disruption continues - Dover sea wall repairs won't be finished till December

Dover's sea wall collapsed last December

Network Rail have revealed that the railway line between Dover and Folkestone which was damaged when a sea wall collapsed, will not be fully repaired until the end of the year.

The line was breached near Dover at Christmas time and it was known that the work would take some time, but today's announcement is the first confirmation that works are not expected to be complete until December. It means many more months of disruption for commuters who use rail routes in the area.

ITV Meridian correspondent Derek Johnson filed this report back in February when questions about the issue were raised.

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Gatwick security alert cost airport £1.2m

A 41 year-old man has been charged with possession of a dangerous article in an aerodrome Credit: Tim Unwin

A 41 year-old man has been remanded in custody in connection with a major security alert at Gatwick airport on Saturday.

Jerome Chauris, 41, from Vendome, France, has been charged with possession of a dangerous article in an aerodrome and possession of a blade in a public place.

The incident, which took place at around 9.30am on Saturday, sparked a major security alert and passengers were forced to evacuate the North Terminal for six hours.

Magistrates have heard that the alert cost the airport £1.2 million in lost travel and disruption.

Chauris will re-appear Lewes Crown Court 14 December.

Man in court over Gatwick security alert

The North Terminal had to be evacuated on Saturday Credit: Tim Unwin

A Frenchman accused of going into Gatwick Airport with an air rifle and a knife is due in court later.

41 year-old Jerome Chauris, 41, from Vendome, France, is charged with possession of a dangerous article in an aerodrome and possession of a blade in a public place.

The incident, which took place at around 9.30am on Saturday, sparked a major security alert and passengers were forced to evacuate the North Terminal for six hours.

Sussex Police said: "Jerome Chauris, 41, unemployed and of no fixed address, but from Vendome, France, has been charged with possessing a dangerous article (an air rifle weapon) in any part of an aerodrome (Aviation Security Act 1982) and possessing a knife blade/sharp pointed article (a lock knife) in a public place (Criminal Justice Act 1988)."

Frenchman charged over security alert at Gatwick

North Terminal was closed Credit: PA

A Frenchman has been charged with possession of an air rifle and a knife following a major security alert at Gatwick airport yesterday.

Massive disruption was caused at the North Terminal following the incident at 9.30 am when Sussex Police were alerted to the 'suspicious actions' of a 41-year-old man.

Jerome Chauris, from Vendome, is due to appear in court on Monday.

Passengers were delayed for several hours Credit: PA

Gatwick Airport 'working hard' to get passengers on their way

‘Now that our terminal has re-opened we are prioritising looking after passengers and ensuring they can get to the North Terminal. We know that large numbers of passengers have had significant disruption to their journeys today, and we are working hard with our airline partners to help get them on their way.

‘We have additional Gatwick staff on-hand to help, and we are trying to make people comfortable by moving them to hotels where we can make sure they have the latest information about their flights. It will take some time to get operations back to normal but we are doing everything we can.

‘We have put on special bus services to move people from the South Terminal, to the North Terminal, and our shuttle is now back in operation. It’s important that we manage the flow of people to ensure we can process them as efficiently as possible.

‘Our airlines are now looking at what capacity they have to accommodate people who missed flights earlier in the day. Passenger welfare is out absolute priority.’

– Gatwick Airport spokesperson
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