Rail and bus strike woes

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Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said: "RMT members stand solid, united and determined again this morning in the latest phase of strike action in a raft of separate disputes which are about putting safety, security and access to transport services before the profiteering".

Britain has faced its worst travel chaos in decades as rail staff staged a walk-out in protest over driver-only trains.

Sharon Keith, Northern's regional director, said the company was prepared to guarantee jobs and pay for conductors for the next eight years if an agreement could be reached on "better customer service".

Southern Railway drivers have voted by 4-1 to accept a deal to end their long-running dispute over driver-operated trains, the Aslef union announced.

The letter said: 'I remain concerned that in the event of a train evacuation, derailment or incapacitated driver, the absence of a guard to assist could leave passengers at risk.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary, said: "The agreement means we will have a second safety-trained person on every train covered by this agreement except in exceptional circumstances".

Drivers' union Aslef are keen for its members to accept the deal, but the RMT union has rejected it, citing passenger safety rather than financial gain.

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Southern operates services in the Ashford and Tonbridge areas of Kent.

"Our trains will be planned to have a second person on board and this has been the arrangement we have operated over the past year".

Many services will not be affected, but others will be cancelled, replaced by buses or busier than normal.

The railway has seen disruptions and industrial action since April 2016.

"More on-train staff are on more trains with more passengers than ever before".

A Transport Department spokesperson accused the RMT of attempting to disrupt passengers as part of a "political game". "The independent rail regulator has said driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for more than 30 years, are safe", the spokesman added.

The dispute has spread to South Western Railway because the RMT is seeking assurances about working practices when a new fleet of suburban trains are introduced in 2019.

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