Cold weather brings rail chaos

The cold weather meant more misery for rail travellers today with serious disruption on a number of key commuter routes.

Heavy snow caught commuters

Some motorists trapped overnight were caught in treacherous conditions on the M23 in Sussex and on the A23 in Kent

New row over our rails

Rail fiasco could cost taxpayers millions and delay improvements

Live updates

New pictures of rail embankment landslip at Botley

MPs are questioning rail bosses about what they plan to do to solve the problems caused by what is believed to be britain's biggest landslip following the recent flooding.

Eighty metres of the embankment at Botley in Hampshire has collapsed in the torrential rain.

Trains are being diverted along the south coast adding half an hour to journeys along the line through London, Eastleigh, Fareham and Portsmouth.

Work continues to repair a landslip at Botley

New £2,000 fines for utility firms' overrunning roadworks

by Mike Pearse

ITV Meridian can reveal that thousands of roadworks planned for Surrey and East Sussex have been banned under a radical new scheme to keep the region's traffic on the move.

The Government has given the county councils special powers to issue permits allowing companies to dig up our roads, only when it is absolutely necessary. If the works overrun the firms will be fined up to two thousand pounds a day. **Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

The interviewees are Councillor John Furey, Surrey County Council, Conservative; and Richard Linegar, Roadwork Enforcement Officer.


Meridian East - 75% of rail passengers unaware they're entitled to compensation for delays & cancellations

by Mike Pearse

Millions of pounds in compensation - for delayed trains - hasn't been paid - because passengers don't know they can claim it. The money from rail firms is there for commuters hit by delays or cancellations.

But a recent report by the Government's Rail Regulator found that...

75% of people aren't aware they're entitled to compensation.

74% say train companies do little or nothing to let them know they can claim.

That means £90 million is left unclaimed every year.

A number of lines are still suffering disruption after recent storms including the Battle to Wadhurst lines in Sussex - and the Ashford to Canterbury line which is currently under water at Shalmsford Street. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Meridian West - 75% of passengers don't know about rail refunds for late or cancelled trains

Millions of pounds in compensation hasn't been paid out - because rail passengers - don't know they can claim it. The money from rail firms is there for passengers facing delays or cancellations but the Government's Rail Regulator, says most people have no idea.

It says that:

Three quarters of people don't even know they're entitled to compensation.

74% say train companies do little or nothing to let them know they can claim.

That means £90 million is left unclaimed every year.

Here's our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.

Farmers worried about losing land to HS2 rail route

by Mike Pearse

The construction of the High Speed 2 rail line will completely destroy the livelihoods of farmers, according to the union that represents them.

The National Farmers' Union says there are 23 farms along the proposed route in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire which would be seriously affected.

The government says farmers will be compensated - but landowners say the fields left behind would be un-useable. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.


Free school transport to stop for thousands

Free school transport has been scrapped today in Oxfordshire - for up to three thousand children who don't go to the school nearest to their home. Campaigners say it means some young people will have to walk three miles to class.

But the County Council says the decision will save £2m - and forms part of its austerity measures. In all, Oxfordshire Councillors need to find £61m worth of savings. It says today's decision will not affect the poorest of families. Mel Bloor has more.

New college will be created to train engineers for HS2

Plans for the creation of the High Speed Two (HS2) rail link between London and the north have stepped up a pace with the announcement of a new college to train engineers who will work on the project.

It will be the first new incorporated Further Education College to be created in over 20 years.

The college will deliver specialised training in the areas of rail engineering, environmental skills and construction. The skills learned will then be used in the construction of HS2 and other infrastructure projects across the country.

"HS2 is the biggest infrastructure project that this government is delivering. So it is right that a large scale investment in bricks and mortar should also come with investment in the elite skills which will help build it. That's why this government is launching the first further education college in over 20 years, which will train the next generation of engineers in rail, construction and environmental studies that this country needs to prosper."

– Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business

New state-of-art buses for IOW

Ten new state-of-the-art buses are to be introduced to the Isle of Wight's fleet on Friday.

The buses have been built in the UK and each cost more than £180,000.

They will be powered by eco-friendly engines and equipped with digital destination displays.

There will also be low floor easy access with space to carry wheelchairs and baby buggies.

The investment is proof of our ongoing commitment to the offer of a reliable, safe and quality bus service for islanders."

– d Wills, Operations Director of the Go Ahead Group’s bus and coach operations in south
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