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FGW makes offer to unions as rail dispute continues

First Great Western has made a new offer to the transport union RMT as a dispute over the introduction of Super Express Trains continues.

The union members say the new trains threaten people's jobs, but First Great Western say they've now given assurances on job security.

"We have moved significantly in every area, making sure we can run these trains in the best possible way for customers, while giving the RMT clear assurances on job security and safety. We are hoping the RMT will recognise our proposal, which seeks to bridge the gap in views, will be enough to settle this dispute."

– First Great Western

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Trains running during strike 'dangerously overcrowded'

The RMT union have criticised the trains running during the strike. Credit: ITV News

A rail union have called the train services running during the current 48-hour strike unsafe.

The RMT union, whose members are striking in a dispute over job losses, safety and buffet cars on new trains, say First Great Western's current emergency "skeleton service", is "dangerously overcrowded" and staffed by people without the right training.

The union say they will be taking this up formally.

First Great Western denied that the trains are overcrowded, and told us staff working on them are fully trained.

"We've got fully competent managers working on these trains who would normally manage the people who are striking.

"Our utmost priority is keeping people moving safely and as quickly as possible."

"Our approach to keeping trains moving during this process has been sanctioned by the Rail Safety Standards Board - we would not be able to run these services if it hadn't been."

– First Great Western
First Great Western staff picketing Bristol Temple Meads station. Credit: ITV News

The 48-hour strike started on Wednesday night and is set to end at 6.30pm on Friday evening. Staff have been out picketing stations today.

"The anger of staff is clear as the action bites and it is now down to the company to recognise that and get back round the table to address the serious issues at the core of this dispute."

– RMT General Secretary Mick Cash

First Great Western say 10% fewer staff have walked out than they were expecting; however the strike has still affected almost 40% of their services.

More trains after fewer rail workers strike than expected

Although fewer workers have walked out than expected, the strike is still affecting nearly 40% of services. Credit: ITV News

First Great Western says it should be running more train services during the current rail strike because fewer staff walked out than they expected.

The company says 10% more staff showed up for work than they were expecting.

However it still means that nearly 40% of FGW rail services are affected.

Those travelling can find live service updates here.

Credit: ITV News

The strike, which started last night and is set to end at 6.30pm on Friday evening comes after talks broke down between the RMT union and the company over the new Hitachi Inter-City trains in 2017.

The union have said First Great Western failed to provide "very basic assurances" about safety concerns and job losses. However the company say they have tried to address the concerns and that the new trains cannot be operated "in the same way as the trains we run today, which were built in the 1970s."

They have also played down the possibility of job losses, and say they are "keen to continue discussions with the union".

Widespread disruption expected as rail strike begins

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Commuters are bracing themselves for widespread disruption this morning - after rail staff walked out yesterday evening.

Thousands of passengers will be affected by the 48 hr stike - which has reduced train services by 40%.

It comes after talks broke down between the RMT union and the train operator First Great Western over job losses and safety on the new Hitachi Inter-City trains in 2017. We have more information here so you can plan your journey, and First Great Western have advised people to check for updates before travelling.

Trains disrupted on Swindon line just before rail strike starts

Trains are currently disrupted between Bath Spa and Swindon, due to problems near Chippenham. Passengers are able to use their tickets on buses 55, 231 and 234.

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Rail strike to go ahead tonight as last-minute talks fail

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Last-minute talks between First Great Western and union bosses, trying to avoid a two-day strike, have broken down.

This means the planned 48-hour rail strike will go ahead, with RMT union members begin striking from 6.30pm this evening until 6.29pm on Friday. The worst disruption is expected from Thursday morning.

The strike's been sparked by concerns about job losses, safety and buffet services when the company rolls out the new Hitachi Inter-City trains in 2017. The RMT say the last-minute talks failed to produce an agreement.

For those travelling, there will be a reduced service on most of the lines in our region but the main trouble spots will be on the main line between Bristol and Taunton and between Swindon and Cheltenham. There will only be a few trains during peak hours.

There will be no trains running at all between Weymouth and Frome.

If you're travelling to or from Devon and Cornwall, the main trouble spots will be on the main line between Penzance and Taunton. There will be no trains at all from Newquay, Looe or Falmouth Docks, and only a limited peak time service will be running from Barnstaple and Gunnislake.

We have more information here so you can plan your journey, and First Great Western have advised people to check for updates before travelling.

Reduced service on FGW trains during 48 hour strike

How the West's rail service will look during the strike Credit: ITV News

First Great Western workers will begin a 48 hour strike this evening. Passengers are being warned that there will be fewer services running.

There will be a reduced service on most of the lines in our region but the main trouble spots will be on the main line between Bristol and Taunton and between Swindon and Cheltenham. There will only be a few trains during peak hours.

There will be no trains running at all between Weymouth and Frome.

48-hour rail strike due to start tonight

The rail strike is due to start this evening from 6.30pm. Credit: ITV News

If you're travelling with First Great Western later today you should check before you travel.

RMT union members begin striking from 6.30pm this evening, marking the start of a 48-hour walk-out. The worst disruption is expected from Thursday morning.

The strike's been sparked by concerns about job losses, safety and buffet services when the company rolls out the new Hitachi Inter-City trains in 2017.

The union say First Great Western have failed to provide "very basic assurances", while First Great Western say they have tried to address the concerns and that they are "determined to continue talking to the RMT".

First Great Western plans for strike

First Great Western have ammended timetables ahead of strike Credit: First Great Western

First Great Western has released new timetables ahead of a planned 48 hour rail strike that will begin tomorrow.

Out of those voting, 80% of the RMT union's First Great Western members voted to strike in a dispute relating to the new Hitachi Inter-City trains. The union say First Great Western have refused to give "very basic assurances" about passenger safety and jobs.

The strike is due to start at 6.30pm on Wednesday July 8th, and will continue for 48 hours.

Changes to regular services:

  • Between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, extending to Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton during the peak: One train an hour.
  • Services between Cardiff and Portsmouth will operate between Bristol Parkway and Salisbury: Every two hours
  • Between Bristol Temple Meads and Gloucester: Every two hours
  • Gloucestershire
  • Between Cheltenham Spa and London Paddington: One train per morning and evening peak in each direction.
  • Between Cheltenham Spa and London Paddington: One train per morning and evening peak in each direction.

The following services won't be operating:

  • Between Severn Beach and Bristol Temple Meads.
  • Between Swindon and Westbury via Melksham.
  • Between Weymouth and Westbury.

To find out how these changes will affect your journey go to First Great Western's website.

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