Second of five rail strikes taking place today as pay dispute continues

Second of five rail strikes taking place today as pay dispute continues

Tens of thousands of commuters and transport users faced morning and evening chaos on the roads on Tuesday as Irish Rail staff held a second day of walk-outs.

ASLEF drivers have accepted a proposed resolution to the long-running dispute with Southern Railways.

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.

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.

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".

"We are pleased with a resolution which, we believe, works for the staff, and the company, and we now look forward to working with Southern Rail to restore good industrial relations and deliver the service passengers in the region deserve".

Nick Brown, chief operating officer for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "This dispute has been hard for our passengers in particular and we are pleased that we can now move ahead and deliver stability".

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

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The biggest disruption is threatened at South Western Railway, which only took over the franchise from South West Trains in August, with more than a third of services set to be hit.

Hundreds of services will be canceled, replacement buses will be laid on and services that do run are expected to be busier than usual, passengers have already been warned.

"Driver-only operation has been operating safely for 32 years and now accounts for over a third of the United Kingdom rail network".

Another working Wednesday, and passengers are enduring yet another rail strike, this one the worst for 20 years.

Many passengers took to Twitter to vent their anger at the industrial action and disruption it was causing to their travel arrangements after many services were axed, while those that did operate encountered lengthy delays.

A Transport Department spokesperson accused the RMT of attempting to disrupt passengers as part of a "political game".

The row is over the introduction of new suburban trains which the union says are unsafe.

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