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  1. Our live coverage has now ended.
  2. Updates from Wednesday 10 August 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye from the Local Live team

Bob Dale

That's it from us for today, and with the Southern rail strike suspended, from 06.00 BST tomorrow we'll be bringing you all the news, sport, travel and weather from around Kent.

In the meantime please get in touch with your pictures and videos by tweeting us, emailing us or sending us a message on Facebook.  

'You don't want to be stressed out before you go to work'

Bob Dale

This evening commuters marched from Victoria Station to the Department for Transport HQ, to deliver a giant letter demanding action over Southern's poor levels of service.

'The government does have some responsibility to sort this out'

Bob Dale

Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman, who's also a member of the Transport Select Committee, believes it's time the government intervened in the dispute.

'I believe there are grounds they can work together now'

Bob Dale

Caroline Ansell, Conservative MP for Eastbourne, is hopeful that the new round of talks will be productive.

What we know so far

Bob Dale

Now that the strike's been suspended, I've pulled together some of the key facts in this video:

Trains will still be disrupted

Bob Dale

Despite the industrial action being suspended, Southern says trains will still be disrupted tomorrow, with the strike timetable still scheduled in rail planning systems.

The company says it hopes to be able to go back to the amended timetable on Friday, which was introduced last month, to cope with the ongoing industrial action and high levels of staff sickness.

BreakingStrike suspended

The strike won't now take place on Thursday and Friday. Southern and the RMT will be returning to talks hosted by conciliation service Acas.

Southern has just issued the following statement:

We are encouraged that the RMT has accepted our offer to resume talks at ACAS and has agreed to call off its strike action. For our passengers sake we truly hope these talks will be productive and bring this long running dispute to an end."

More frustration on Twitter

Claire Cottingham

Local Live reporter

Day three of the strike is in full swing, some of you have been taking to Twitter to express your anger. 

These strikes cause so much hassle when you can't drive #southernstrike

@SouthernRailUK Please, stop acting as the victim in all of this. Your management started this, no one else. #SouthernStrike.

RMT: 'If we can't find a resolution, action will go ahead'

Claire Cottingham

Local Live reporter

Eurostar rail workers are to take seven days of strike action this month in a dispute over their work-life balance, the RMT union says. 

Staff will walk out from 00:01 BST on 12 August until 23.59 BST on 15 August, and for three days over the UK Bank Holiday weekend from 27 August.

RMT's Mick Cash say's they're still hoping to find a resolution.

Eurostar statement

Claire Cottingham

Local Live reporter

According to Reuters, RMT spokesman Geoff Martin said talks had been suspended but he expected the strike announcement to "focus minds" and bring management back to the negotiating table. 

However, Eurostar are getting prepared for action.

We are aware of the RMT/TSSA plans for strike action this weekend. On the days of the strike we have made some modifications to our timetable to ensure that our passengers will all be able to travel on those days. Customers affected by any changes will be notified in advance with options for their journey. Please check this page for further updates which will be published as they become available."


Delay repay reminder

Southern has sent this email to customers reminding them of its compensation scheme

Southern email

It's going from bad to worse...

Claire Cottingham

Local Live reporter

The RMT union may have offered to suspend its #SouthernStrike for new talks, however, some passengers are still in a whole world of frustration.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Which routes have been affected by the strike?

Services at many train stations across the South East are cancelled again today or have a limited service running through them. Here's a map showing which are affected

'Thanks a lot Southern rail now sort your mess out'

Claire Cottingham

Local Live reporter

Chris Roberts attended Brighton's EFL cup match with Colchester last night.

View more on twitter

RMT 'offended' by passenger ransom accusation

Bob Dale

The RMT union has been accused of holding passengers to ransom by the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling.

Speaking to South East Today, Paul Cox from the union said he was offended by the accusation.

The government won't intervene in Southern rail strike

The Transport Secretary has dismissed calls for the government to get involved in the row between the RMT union and Southern rail. 

Despite the ongoing situation leaving thousands of people struggling to use the trains, he says he won't get involved. 

Brighton v Colchester: Only 6,895 watch match at the Amex

Claire Cottingham

Local Live reporter

For a ground that holds 30,500, just under 7,000 were able to make it to the Brighton v Colchester game last night in the first round of the EFL Cup.

Some are blaming the low attendance on the #SouthernStrike.


Southern: 'Not prepared to talk'

A spokesman for Southern rail said the company was not prepared to talk with the RMT unless the union was willing to discuss its "eight-point plan".


Southern's plan is below:

  1. Southern will guarantee that every train currently operated with a conductor will continue to have either a traditional conductor or a second member of on board staff diagrammed/rostered.
  2. Southern guarantee that traditional conductors will retain current competence and will guarantee that the second member of on board staff will be trained to a ‘safety competent’ level including track safety training, train evacuation, traction competence and full commercial route knowledge (excluding train dispatch).
  3. Southern will propose a list of exceptional circumstances, to be agreed with RMT, whereby a train can continue in service without a second member of on board staff, for the benefit of customers.
  4. These proposals, including the above guarantees, are dependent upon agreement that services with a second member of on board staff (rather than a traditional conductor) will have the driver in full control of train dispatch. Agreement for this to be implemented will be ratified at local level.
  5. Collective bargaining rights for the new OBS role, ensuring that this group will have a voice within the organisation as well as full negotiation rights.
  6. A joint review of the OBS role after 12 months of operation, to look at role development, training and future career development.
  7. A guaranteed minimum level of voluntary overtime for all OBSs, the detail of which would be agreed with the RMT.
  8. A guarantee to retain the OBS role at the levels already guaranteed, beyond 2021, should GTR retain the franchise.  

BreakingSouthern strike: 'Action could be suspended'

The five-day strike by Southern rail workers will be suspended on Thursday and Friday if the company "agrees to urgent talks without pre-conditions", the RMT union has said.

This morning's headlines

Claire Cottingham

Local Live reporter

I've taken a look at your main stories for the morning, including the latest on the five-day Southern strike. 

Eurostar strike to take place over two weekends

The RMT said the Eurostar strike action would take place in two blocks over two weekends:

  • From 00:01 BST on Saturday 13 August to 23:59 BST on Monday 15 August.
  • From 00:01 BST on Saturday 27 August to 23:59 BST on Monday 29 August.

BreakingEurostar workers to go on strike

Eurostar rail workers will take seven days of strike action in August over work/life balance, the RMT union has said. For more information read the BBC News story here.

Eurostar at St Pancras

Amended timetable details

Southern has tweeted a link to its amended timetable for today:

View more on twitter

Your say

Lee Spokes has sent us this message on Facebook over the Transport Secretary's remarks:

As someone who has commuted from Seaford - Lewes, I can only say that Chris Grayling's comments today are an insult. This strike is totally necessary, just not quite for the reasons given.

Southern need to be removed of the franchise immediately - they have acknowledged that they did not have the staff when they won the franchise, have failed to retain / recruit the staff needed, and have alienated the operational staff needed to run services safely in the interest of a 'cheaper' service, when costs have risen year on year above inflation."

Lee Spokes

ICYMI: Transport secretary reacts to strike

Claire Cottingham

Striking members of the RMT union have been accused of "standing in the way" of modernisation, by the new Transport Secretary.

In his first interview since taking up the role, Chris Grayling condemned the strike.

Good morning from the BBC Live team

Claire Cottingham

It's day three of the the five-day Southern strike.

Thousands of commuters have had their trains delayed or cancelled after the RMT members took action.

We'll be keeping you posted until 22:00 BST, but please keep us up to date with your pictures and videos by tweeting us using #SouthernStrikeemailing us or sending us a message on Facebook.