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Union leaders: Govt 'rushing through' East Coast sale

Rail union leaders have launched a legal move to challenge the the awarding of franchises to train companies and accused the Government of trying to "rush through" the deal.

It is imperative that we raise the genuine concerns of all stakeholders but, especially, the employees before this is rushed through. We cannot, in good conscience, allow the mistakes of the past to happen again.

– Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan

After the scandal of this Government robbing the British taxpayer of a billion pounds in the scramble to privatise the Royal Mail it is shocking that they are engaging in the same tactics to try and hand the East Coast Mainline back to their friends in big business.

– RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash

The coalition knows only too well that rail franchising is not fit for purpose. Rail workers are at a loss to understand why the government insists on going forward with a broken system which threatens the interests of passengers and taxpayers.

– TSSA leader Manuel Cortes


Free bus travel for elderly faces threat as services cut

Bus services are facing the axe as councils struggle to fund free travel for elderly people.

Government funding for free, off-peak travel for elderly and disabled people has fallen by 39% since 2010, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

General view of bus. Credit: PA

It added that councils are being increasingly forced to subsidise this concessionary travel at the cost of other essential services.

The LGA said that Buckinghamshire, Cumbria and Somerset were among county councils cutting back on services due to funding problems.


Lucky escape as lorry blows onto car

Lorry falls on top of car on M60 Credit: Andrew Elliott

In last night's stormy weather, a lorry was blown on top of a car on the M60, at junction 24.

The car's owner, Andrew Elliott, has sent in these dramatic pictures.

Andrew told us he managed to climb out of the window and escaped with minor injuries.

Picture of car crushed by lorry Credit: Andrew Elliott


Train disruption continues as UK battered by storms

Train services across the UK are being disrupted due to the on-going storms and flooding, with train companies issuing advice via Twitter:


Disruption in the north western England - Alternative travel options can be found here: #UKStorm


Buses replace trains between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth because of overhead wire problems between Aberystwyth and Dovey Junction #UKStorm


Good Morning, the line between Liverpool-Crewe is blocked until 10am, passengers travelling to London need to travel via Warrington...

Read more: Thunderbirds are go: Locomotive rescues gale hit train

FGW trains to run limited service in 'many areas'

First Great Western trains has tweeted they will be running a "limited service" in many areas due to ongoing flooding:


We are running a limited service in many areas due to flooding. Please check for info on alterations and alternatives

Passengers stuck for 5 hours after gales damage train

Passengers on an East Coast train near Durham say have been stuck on board without heating or lighting for more than five hours after the train's pantograph was blown off by high winds:


Stranded on the #eastcoast train just short of durham - no heating or lighting!


They're rationing biscuits and water - but free wifi. Good to know that #eastcoast have their priorities in order!


Despite having been stuck on this train for 5 hours now, we're still in good spirits :) #eastcoast

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