Live updates

  1. West Country (E)

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?

Bank Holiday rail strike to go ahead

Train services over the bank holiday weekend will be affected by the strike Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

A Bank Holiday strike by workers at First Great Western, which runs services from London to the South West, is set to go ahead after talks failed to lead to an agreement.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at the leading rail company are due to walk out for three days from Saturday in a row over new trains.

The union is in dispute over new high speed trains which it says will hit jobs and on-board catering.

The move will affect train services over the bank holiday weekend.


Fresh talks aim to avert another rail strike

Further talks are being held today in an attempt to avert another strike. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Rail services have returned to normal after a 24-hour strike disrupted First Great Western services in the region.

Members of the RMT Union walked out in an ongoing dispute over the introduction of high speed trains in 2017. 30% of Sunday services were affected.

Further talks are being held in Bristol today in an attempt to avert another strike.

A three-day stoppage is planned over the Bank Holiday weekend by the RMT union, on top of yesterday's action.

The dispute is over the buffet service and the role of guards on new electric trains being introduced in 2017.

First Great Western details rail service plans during strikes

Services on First Great Western will be reduced if planned strikes go ahead Credit: ITV News

First Great Western has released details of disruption to its services in the South West if planned strikes by workers go ahead in the coming weeks.

First Great Western (FGW) said long distance and local services will be reduced on August 23 and over the bank holiday weekend.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are due to take industrial action in a row over new trains, which they say threaten jobs and services.

First Great Western managing director Mark Hopwood said: "These brand new trains will deliver more seats, faster journey times and more frequent journeys for our passengers. Our plans mean more train managers on board our trains, not less.

"The key issue remains that we want the driver to close the doors - which is fundamental to our ability to run the faster, more frequent services customers should expect from a 21st century railway. This method has been used safely across the UK rail industry for decades."

FGW said it expects to run most of its London Thames Valley trains, but services including those between South Wales and London, Plymouth and London, Cardiff and Portsmouth, Bristol and Taunton and Bristol and Gloucester will be affected.

No service will run between Weymouth and Westbury, while some services in Devon and Cornwall will be cancelled.

The RMT said it disputed the level of services the company could run on strike days.


Do you recognise these cuddly toys?

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

Teddies lost on First Great Western trains across the West Country need your help.

Cuddly toys have broken out of the lost property vaults at Bristol Temple Meads train station in a bid to be recognised by their owners.

Should you believe one of the soft toys is yours then email teddyrescue@firstgroup.comdescribing the lost bear, highlighting any distinctive features, the direction of escape (where they were lost); their name, your name, full address and contact details.

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

First Great Western launched Teddy Rescue in November 2014 as a way of reuniting lost toys with their owners but the train company have been unable to reunite a single bear or cuddly toy with their original family.

Lost bears and other cuddly toys not reunited with their real owner within three months will embark on other adventures with a Children’s charity.

Do you recognise this teddy bear? Credit: First Great Western

Delays due to broken down train between Truro and Penzance

There are delays of up to an hour between Truro and Penzance due to a broken down train as the Plymouth bound line is blocked.

Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 90 mins or revised.

Delays are expected to continue until 10am.

Tickets are being accepted on CrossCountry services from Devon and Cornwall to Bristol Parkway.

First Great Western due to strike over bank holiday

Rail workers on First Great Western trains are to stage a series of strikes, including over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The RMT union has announced the strikes following a row over new trains.

All RMT members have been told not to work for 24 hours from one minute past midnight on Sunday 23rd August and again from midnight on Saturday 29th August until 11:59pm on Monday 31st.

Trains running during strike 'dangerously overcrowded'

The RMT union have criticised the trains running during the strike. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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 Exeter rail 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.

Load more updates