London Waterloo commuters told not to travel due to engineering delays

London Waterloo commuters told not to travel due to engineering delays

South Western Railway blames overrunning works for train cancellations between Surbiton and Waterloo station

Passengers on some of the busiest rail routes in the country have been warned not to travel because of overrunning engineering works.

No South Western Railway (SWR) trains were running on Monday morning between Surbiton and London Waterloo – the UK’s busiest railway station.

Related: Rail strikes to hit England rugby fans and Christmas shoppers

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Source: Guardian Transport

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‘Rich soup of life’ in Gwent wetlands at risk from motorway

‘Rich soup of life’ in Gwent wetlands at risk from motorway

Campaigners fear the loss of rare biodiversity if a £1bn bypass is approved by the Welsh assembly

The Gwent Levels is a low-lying patchwork of wetlands, divided by drainage ditches first dug by the Romans, that is so full of life that conservationists compare its diversity to the Amazon rainforest.

But this quiet corner of south-east Wales may soon disappear under concrete if the Labour-led Welsh government gives the go-ahead for a new 14-mile stretch of motorway to be carved through the ancient levels.

I like the wildlife, the butterflies, the insects. I don’t think they need a new motorway blasting through

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Rail strikes to hit England rugby fans and Christmas shoppers

Rail strikes to hit England rugby fans and Christmas shoppers

Union members on Northern and South Western railways go on strike in train guard dispute

Travellers heading to the England rugby game or Manchester’s Christmas markets could be caught up in rail disruptions on as union members working for two of the country’s biggest rail operators go on strike.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on South Western Railway (SWR) and Arriva Rail North (Northern) went on strike on Saturday as part of a long-running dispute over the use of guards on trains.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Is it ever OK for a train company to block you on social media?

Is it ever OK for a train company to block you on social media?

Northern Rail was criticised for blocking a passenger who had complained on Twitter. But customer service in the digital age is hard to manage

In a new report by consumer group Which? highlighting widespread dissatisfaction with train companies, one instance was singled out: Northern Rail blocking a passenger who’d been complaining on Twitter. Kat Harrison-Dibbits had included the company in over 100 messages about delays and overcrowding before it eventually blocked her.

The incident brings into focus the vexed issue of delivering customer service in the digital age: is the customer still always right if they are publicly haranguing you on social media?

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Diesel pollution stunts children’s lung growth, London study shows

Diesel pollution stunts children’s lung growth, London study shows

Major research also shows charging polluting trucks had no effect on health

Pollution from diesel vehicles is stunting the growth of children’s lungs, leaving them damaged for life, a major study has found.

The research, conducted with more than 2,000 school children in London, is the first such study in a city where diesel pollution is a significant factor, and has implications for cities around the world. It also showed that charges to deter polluting trucks from entering the city did reduce air pollution a little but did not reduce the harm to children’s lungs.

This study reveals the terrible legacy of successive governments’ failure to act over illegal levels of air pollution

Related: Air pollution: everything you should know about a public health emergency

Related: Air pollution is the ‘new tobacco’, warns WHO head

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Coca-Cola’s journey on the road to ruin | Brief letters

Coca-Cola’s journey on the road to ruin | Brief letters
Christmas truck tour | Seats on trains | Tired old phrases | Frictionless Brexit | Ambrosia | Highlighting names

Apart from the health issues, the idea that a company drives over 700,000 miles in order to give out rubbish in single-use aluminium cans sums up all that is wrong with capitalism and its cavalier destruction of our world (Coca-Cola’s Christmas truck tour hits bumps in the road, 14 November).
Rachel Meredith
Long Marston, North Yorkshire

• While travelling by train from Liverpool to Stafford last year, an announcement politely reminded passengers that, “if anything on the seat next to you can’t move, doesn’t breathe and hasn’t bought a ticket, then it shouldn’t have a seat” (How to avoid a railway seat ‘altercation’, G2, 13 November).
Estelle Smart
Malvern, Worcestershire

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Spanish train firm to create 1,000 jobs at new factory in Scotland

Spanish train firm to create 1,000 jobs at new factory in Scotland

Talgo, which is bidding to win HS2 rolling stock contracts, will build its first UK base in Fife

More than 1,000 jobs are to be created at a new train manufacturing plant in Scotland by a Spanish company bidding to win HS2 rolling stock contracts.

Talgo will build its first UK manufacturing base at the site of a decommissioned power station at Longannet on the north shore of the Firth of Forth.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Less than half of rail complainants happy with response, data shows

Less than half of rail complainants happy with response, data shows

Research into train companies highlights huge failings in complaints process

Less than half of rail passengers who have complained to train companies believe they have received an adequate response, analysis shows.

Data from the rail regulator shows that fewer than one in five passengers on three particular operators – Govia Thameslink, Great Western and Northern – were satisfied with the outcome or handling of their complaints.

Related: In Britain’s chaotic rail system, as elsewhere, we need a clever state to play a full part

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Source: Guardian Transport

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FirstGroup's new boss to bid for more UK rail operations despite loss

FirstGroup's new boss to bid for more UK rail operations despite loss

Transport group reports increased losses of up to £4.6m under challenging conditions

The new boss of FirstGroup has pledged to bid for more UK rail operations – despite the beleaguered transport group warning that profits in its existing rail business were in jeopardy.

Matthew Gregory’s appointment as chief executive was announced with immediate effect on Tuesday, as FirstGroup reported increased losses, up to £4.6m pretax for the six months to 30 September.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Should you ask someone to vacate your reserved seat on a train?

Should you ask someone to vacate your reserved seat on a train?

Most railway passengers prefer to stand or look for another seat rather than ask someone to move, research shows. It is time we overcame this most British of behaviours

For British people travelling by public transport, speaking to someone might seem like a fate worse than death – but is avoiding it really worth hours and hours of standing up on a train?

It seems so, according to research by train operator LNER (London North Eastern Railway). They found that just over half (56%) of us would actually prefer to stand, or make the effort to find an alternative seat, rather than simply ask a passenger who has sat down in our reserved seat to move.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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