Live updates

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

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

Serious accident at Axminster

Two people have been seriously injured in a road crash in Axminster.

Bristol Air Ambulance has taken one casualty to Frenchay Hospital.

It happened on the B3261 between the A35 and Axminster, at around 7.45am today.

The road is closed from the off-slip on the A35 and the start of the B3261, to the end of Axminster roundabout near the train station.

Bad weather hits train punctuality

The bad weather saw punctuality times for trains across the country fall Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The severe winter storms took their toll on train punctuality including that of CrossCountry last month, according to official figures.

The CrossCountry train company, managed only a punctuality figure of 78.1% in February, compared with 88.8% for February 2013.

First Great Western, affected by the severe damage to the coastal track at Dawlish in Devon, had a trains-on-time figure of only 80.4% last month, compared with 91.8% in February 2013.

Since December staff dealt with more than 500 fallen trees blocking lines, 285 flooded sites and 73 landslips or line washouts.

Load more updates