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Travel chaos for some as rail strike nears its end

The RMT Union's strike action is taking place during one of the busiest weekends of the year.

After three days of reduced services and cancellations, many passengers were feeling frustrated.

RMT Union members are striking over new high-speed trains which should be in service in 2017. They will have no guards, which union members says is unsafe.

The guards' role is a pivotal role on the train, as indeed are the dispatch staff...they want to put all those responsibilities on the driver.

We believe that undermines safety on the train.

– Brendan Kelly, RMT Regional Organiser

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Badger cull to be extended to Dorset

The government has announced there is to be a badger cull in Dorset this year. Credit: Ben Birchall / PA Wire

The South West's controversial badger cull is to be extended to Dorset.

Several farmers had applied for a licence to kill the animals, which are thought to infect cattle with bovine TB.

The government says extending the cull is part of a long-term strategy to beat the disease - but protestors argue that existing culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire (which are to be repeated this year) are ineffective and fail to meet their targets.

“England has the highest incidence of TB in Europe and that is why we are taking strong action to deliver our 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease and protect the future of our dairy and beef industries.

“This includes strengthening cattle testing and movement controls, vaccinating badgers in the buffer zone around high-risk areas, and culling badgers where the disease is rife.

“Our approach of dealing with the disease in cattle and wildlife has worked overseas and is supported by leading vets.”

– Farming Minister George Eustice

A wildlife charity which is strongly against the cull has recently awarded a grant to a badger vaccination programme in Dorset.

Brian May taking part in an anti-badger-cull protest in Bristol. Credit: PA

Earlier this week an animal welfare charity - founded by Queen guitarist Brian May - threatened legal action if the badger cull goes ahead for a third year.

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First Great Western workers due to walk out tonight

A three-day rail strike is due to start from midnight tonight. Credit: PA

First Great Western rail staff will be walking out from midnight tonight - marking the beginning of a three day strike.

Members of the RMT union say the company have failed to guarantee that jobs will be protected when new high-speed trains are introduced in 2017.

Passengers are being urged to check their travel plans.

RAIL STRIKE: Will your journey be affected?

Are your Bank Holiday travel plans on track? Credit: PA

Members of the RMT Union are due to walk out just after midnight on Friday night for three days after talks with First Great Western failed.

It is one of the busiest weekends of the year as people make a last trip before school starts.

You can check with First Great Western here to see if your journey will be affected?

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