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Aslef drivers vote to end Southern dispute over driver-operated trains

09 November 2017

It was later announced that drivers operating on Southern Railway have voted overwhelmingly to end its long running dispute over driver-only trains.

The Office of Rail and Road has said of driver-only operation: "Our inspectors are satisfied that with suitable equipment, proper procedures and competent staff in place, it is a safe method of working".

"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".

Driver will be responsible for opening and closing train doors, with guards transferred to the role of the on-board supervisor.

More train stoppages have been scheduled over the next few weeks, including match day on November 14, as workers protest to demand a 3.75% pay increase.

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'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 Rial to restore good industrial relations and deliver the service passengers in the region deserve'.

On Wednesday, the Labour Court intervened following two 24-hour strikes in a week by Irish Rail workers.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT Union, said: "These strikes are about rail safety and accessibility pure and simple".

Many services will not be affected, but others will be cancelled, replaced by buses or busier than normal.

"While at this time Iarnrod Eireann has not been advised of a withdrawal by trade unions of the further dates of industrial action (14th and 23rd November, 8th December), the company hopes that the issues can be resolved in a manner that ensures customers suffer no further disruption to services".

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A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "The RMT is playing a political game, however it has backfired as Southern will be running more than 90 per cent of services for passengers. The travelling public will not thank them for another round of disruptive and unnecessary strike action".

"The independent rail regulator has said driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for more than 30 years, are safe".

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

"Similarly, anti-social behavior on trains could increase with the presence of a guard", he added.

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Aslef drivers vote to end Southern dispute over driver-operated trains