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First Great Western workers strike

First Great Western workers strike over a row about the dismissal of a colleague Credit: PA

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at First Great Western began a 24 hours strike at 4am today (Friday March 27th) over a row about the dismissal of a colleague.

The dispute include guards, train drivers and managers in Penzance.

The announcement comes in the same week the rail company was awarded a 42-month extension on its franchise by the Government.

It is clear from the two disputes we are engaged in that there is a culture of bullying and intimidation of staff rife within the money-spinning racket which is the First Great Western operation.

RMT will not allow this culture to go unchallenged and the union will defend both our individual members and the principle of workplace justice. The union remains available for talks in both disputes.

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

First Great Western is reassuring passengers strike action will not impact its services.

We can confirm that a member of staff was recently dismissed for allowing the doors of a train to remain open while in passenger service, and failing to report the incident to anyone for over a month.

The member of staff was not an RMT member at the time of the incident, and we are surprised that they have decided to support these actions, which put his safety, and the safety of his colleagues and our passengers at risk.

The RMT has a track record of taking a strong stance on the safety of its members and passengers, and today's action seems inconsistent with those messages. We do not expect this action to impact services for customers, and continue to talk to the RMT about this issue.

– First Great Western

Serious collision closes M5 northbound

The M5 is expected to remain closed for several hours causing major delays Credit: ITV News

A serious collision involving a car and a lorry has closed the M5 Northbound between Exeter and Cullompton.

It's expected to remain closed for several hours causing major delays. The driver of the car has been seriously injured. The extent of the injuries of others involved is not yet known.

The northbound carriageway is closed between junction 30 and junction 28.

Salisbury coach firm takes over some Hatts' routes

Salisbury Reds has announced additional bus services in the region - with news that Hatts Coaches has ceased trading. Following discussions with Wiltshire Council, the operator will run buses across the following routes from today

7 and 8A - Devizes Road/Quidhampton to the city centre 12 - Stratford Bridge, Devonshire Road and Wyndham Road to the city centre 14 - Milton Road, Harvard Heights and Harnham Hill to the city centre 44 - Salisbury, Odstock, Downton, Redlynch, Woodfalls 66 - Salisbury to Tidworth via Shipton Bellinger

Another service, the 29 from Shaftesbury to Salisbury - via the Chalke Valley villages - will be run by sister firm Damory Coaches.

More information about the new services - including detailed timetables

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