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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

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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

Memories of 86 year old travel firm that's gone bust

Hatts coaches has been in business in Wiltshire since 1928 until today, when it had to call in the receivers. The administrators say it simply ran out of cash.

Many of you will have memories of the company, which has provided school services, coach trips and holidays for many years.

You can post your thoughts on our Facebook page or email us at westcountry@itv.com

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Travel firm customers should contact card providers

Customers of Wiltshire firm Hatts Travel, hit by the company going into administration, who paid by credit or debit card they should contact their card providers.

It is deeply regrettable and sad for all concerned that the majority of Hatts operations should have to stop trading. The businesses simply ran out of cash. We are acutely aware of the distress and hardship many holidaymakers and day trippers will be suffering right now particularly as so many of these are of an “older generation”. Our priority right now is to contact and provide dedicated helpline support for those members of the general public who have paid for holidays, day trips and other private hire with Hatts.

– Andrew Sheridan, Joint administrator

Those affected can contact the helpline on 0800 4704633

Chippenham coach firm goes bust with loss of 90 jobs

Wiltshire travel firm Hatts is in administration threatening the holiday plans of 1,000 customers Credit: Hatts Travel

Wiltshire coach firm Hatts has gone into administration with the immediate loss of 89 jobs and threatening the plans of 1,000 members of public who have made bookings affected.

A Park and Ride bus service Hatts operates in Salisbury will continue to operate safeguarding 32 jobs.

The firm has offices and depots in Foxham near Chippenham, Worton near Devizes and Salisbury.

Helpline number for those people who are affected:0800 4704633

Britain's newest service station opens on M5

Britain's newest service station has opened today. The 40 million pound Gloucester Services on the M5 will mainly use local produce.

The new service station has cost £40 million Credit: ITV News West Country

It will also be reinvesting a proportion of its income into the community and is designed to blend into the environment and will eventually have a grass roof, once it's grown.

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