The delayed Night Tube service on London Underground starts this weekend, with trains running all night on two deep tube lines -- the Victoria and Central. The project is running almost a year late, mainly because it encountered determined opposition from rail unions in a dispute based on the terms and conditions for train and station staff who will now work through the night on Fridays and Saturdays. The all-night services are due to spread to the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines this autumn, and Transport for London has plans to introduce 24-hour running on the subsurface Underground network later on, as well as the Docklands Light Railway and parts of London Overground.
Virgin Trains East Coast strikes go on hold
Impending strikes on Virgin Trains East Coast have been suspended for new talks over staffing changes. The first walkout of RMT members had been called for Friday, with more stoppages due to follow on 26 and 29 August as well as overtime bans on 27 and 28 August. The union had feared there could be up to 200 job losses as a result of the changes. VTEC said it had repeated its assurances, particularly its promise that there would be no compulsory redundancies.
New strike threat on 'meltdown' Govia Thameslink
More than two-thirds of RMT members balloted at Govia Thameslink Railway have voted in favour of strikes or other industrial action over proposed changes to ticket office hours, the RMT said. The union reported that 70 per cent had been in favour of a strike, and almost 80 per cent supported other industrial action short of a strike. GTR wants to close some offices entirely, bringing staff on to station concourses from where they could still sell tickets, while although other offices would remain their opening hours would be cut. The union fears that at least 130 jobs could be lost.
Regulated rail fares set to rise by 1.9%
Regulated rail fares in England are set to rise by 1.9 per cent in January, after the RPI for July this year was announced this morning. There has been a wave of protest from opposition politicians and consumer groups, who are pointing out that the potential rise has been revealed against a background of major disruption on Southern because of the continuing dispute over driver-only operation, while strikes have also been called on Virgin Trains East Coast in a dispute about job security. Some of the protestors, such as the TUC, have also pointed out that fares have risen twice as fast as wages in recent years.
Southern talks break down: 'modernisation goes ahead'
Talks between Govia Thameslink Railway and the RMT over the driver-only operation dispute have broken down. The union had called off the last two days of a five-day strike on Southern last week as talks restarted, but the new discussions at ACAS have proved fruitless, and GTR said its changeover from conductors to on-board supervisors on most Southern trains would be going ahead as planned. The RMT said its executive will be discussing the latest breakdown of talks today.
Strikes suspended as talks continue
Talks are continuing in two industrial disputes at Eurostar and Southern. A stoppage by Eurostar train managers in a dispute over work life balance was suspended at the start of the weekend, and last week's Monday-to-Friday strike on Southern was also suspended from Thursday in the long-running dispute with Govia Thameslink Railway about extensions of driver-only operation on its Southern network.
RMT announces Bank Holiday strike on VT East Coast
The RMT has named strike days on Virgin Trains East Coast in a dispute over jobs, working conditions and safety. All VTEC RMT members, except those working on maintenance at depots, are now set to walk out for 24 hours by not booking on for duty between 03.00 on 19, 26 and 29 August until 02.59 the following day. The union claims that nearly 200 jobs are threatened by staffing cuts.