RMT

Wabtec proposes 450 job cuts at Doncaster rail factory

Up to 450 jobs are under threat at a rail refurbishment factory in South Yorkshire, it has been announced.

Wabtec
Google

Wabtec in Doncaster said the proposed cuts, which could see nearly half its workforce axed, were due to a fall in demand for its services.

It said the plans would help secure the future of the factory, on the site where the Flying Scotsman was built.

But the RMT union said the "savage cuts" proposed should be "immediately withdrawn" to allow for discussions.

Under the proposals, which are to be put out to consultation, up to 450 jobs could be lost over several months, starting in August.

TfL: Tube journeys up by 10% compared to last week

Clapham Common underground station
Reuters
Clapham Common underground station earlier today

There was a 10% increase in London Underground journeys early on Thursday compared with the same period last week, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Demand between 5am to 6am was up compared with last week but down from Wednesday.

People in England are being urged to return to work but avoid public transport.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, accused the Government of having a "contradictory and potentially lethal approach" to the pandemic.

He said: "When we go outside our homes into open spaces two-metre social distancing must be maintained at all times, but then on the other hand the Government is not lifting a finger to prevent the cramming of passengers into confined spaces on bus, train and Tube services."

Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said he would be prepared to board a packed bus or train to commute to work as the coronavirus lockdown is eased, although he acknowledged overcrowding was a problem.

The Communities Secretary told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We have given guidance that to protect yourself and others you could choose to wear a face covering.

"You should be taking precautions like social distancing if you can - I appreciate that isn't always possible and some of the scenes... show buses and Tubes too full to be able to sit two metres apart and that's a problem.

"That's one of the reasons why we are trying to encourage as many people as can to drive to work - if they have a car - or to walk or cycle."

Data published by location technology firm TomTom showed there was more traffic in the UK's major cities compared with the previous week.

The congestion level in London at 8am was 19%, up from 16% last week.

Other cities to experience an increase include Belfast (from 12% to 15%), Birmingham (from 9% to 11%), Cardiff (from 8% to 11%), Edinburgh (from 12% to 15%) and Manchester (from 10% to 13%).

The figures represent the proportion of additional time required for journeys compared with free-flow conditions.

Call for offshore testing support

The offshore industry has called for support for coronavirus testing for the workforce.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK and the RMT union have both called for tests to be made available - once priority has been given to NHS and frontline workers.

It follows offshore evacuations over the weekend.