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Rail workers announce bank holiday weekend strike

Credit: PA

Rail workers on First Great Western are to stage a series of strikes, including over the August Bank Holiday weekend, in a row over new trains, the RMT union announced.

The union is in dispute over the introduction of new Hitachi inter city trains, saying the role of guards will be reduced and buffet cars' facilities removed.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, including drivers and guards, will walk out for 24 hours on August 23 and for 72 hours from August 29.

Other union members who work on maintenance will strike on August 29 and 31.

The strikes are due to take place:

  • All day on Sunday 23rd August
  • Midnight on Saturday 29th August until midnight on Monday 31st August

Despite strenuous efforts by our negotiators we have not been able to secure the kind of progress required in the key areas of jobs, services and safety for us to reach an agreement.

As a result we have no option but to put further action on.

The fact remains that if it is good enough for East Coast, using the same trains, to meet the very basic assurances sought by this trade union then it is good enough for First Great Western as well.

– RMT general secretary Mick Cash


First Great Western workers to strike

First Great Western staff are set to walk out in a row over the dismissal of a colleague.

First Great Western workers will a three-day strike over a row about the dismissal of a colleague. Credit: PA Wire

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at First Great Western will strike for 24 hours from 4am on Friday and 48 hours from 6am on Easter Sunday.

An overtime ban will also be held on Friday.

Train drivers, guards and train managers based at Penzance in Cornwall are involved in the row, the RMT said.

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

Minister: 'British hero Edith Cavell showed true bravery'

The treasury minister has said that nurse Edith Cavell showed "true bravery" by helping injured soldiers in the First World War.

Edith Cavell, a British nurse and humanitarian. Credit: Tophams/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images

Treasury minister Nicky Morgan said: "She showed true bravery by helping injured soldiers, regardless of their nationality, and it is right that she should be honoured as a British hero.

"She risked her life to help Allied forces escape and in doing so paid the ultimate price. It is important that we remember the sacrifices made by so many people in different ways during the war."

New £5 coin to feature British WW1 nurse Edith Cavell

A British nurse executed by the Germans during the First World War is to be featured on a new commemorative £5 coin. The Edith Cavell coin will form part of a commemorative set to be issued next year by the Royal Mint marking the centenary of the war.

Nurses and family of World War I nurse Edith Cavell. Credit: PA

Miss Cavell worked as a nurse in German-occupied Belgium where she helped save the lives of soldiers from both sides.She was shot by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers to escape across the border into the Netherlands.

Flooding causing disruption on Oxford-London trains

First Great Western is advising rail passengers between Oxford and London to use alternative services following serious flooding.

Tickets are being accepted by other train companies operating in the area.


Train services to and from Cornwall severely disrupted

Train services connecting Cornwall with the rest of the country are still severely delayed after a section of the line was undermined by large waves in Devon.

Some branch lines are operating but severe weather is causing major disruptions across the network.

First Great Western offers limited service in Cornwall

First Great Western continues to run a limited service between Exeter and Penzance in Cornwall after the sea undermined a stretch of the track at Dawlish.

As with yesterday, some of the branch lines are operating, but services in and out of Cornwall are very limited.

No services to or from Cornwall until at least 10am

First Great Western has advised that there will be no services along the main train line connecting Cornall with the rest of the country until at least 10am.

Some branch lines are still operating although many have a reduced service.

Cornwall cut off as rail and road services cancelled

First Great Western are currently offering no rail or road services between Exeter and Penzance, effectively cutting off Cornwall and parts of Devon. Some branch lines are still operating.

The situation will be reviewed this morning and some services could resume after 9:30am, the company said.

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