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Deal reached to end Southern Rail driver dispute

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 February 2017

Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

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Passengers have faced months of misery due to long-running industrial action

A deal to end a bitter dispute between Southern Railway and drivers’ union Aslef over driver-only trains has been agreed.

The two sides have been holding lengthy talks in a bid to resolve a long-running row which sparked a series of crippling strikes.

Around 1,000 drivers will now vote on the deal, bringing some relief to passengers who have suffered months of disruption because of industrial action and staff shortages.

No further industrial action by the drivers union is now planned.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “I am pleased that we have finally been able to reach an agreement with the company which reflects the concerns of train drivers. I believe this deal can deliver a safer and appropriately staffed railway for passengers on Southern rail and I will be recommending it to Aslef members.”

Govia Thameslink Rail’s chief operating officer Nick Brown commented: “Our aim has always been to reach agreement with the unions on our proposals and we’re delighted to have secured a deal today with Aslef to end their dispute. It’s good news for passengers, the regional economy and staff. After the misery and disruption to people’s work and family lives, we are pleased we can start to move forward and deliver a better railway for the travelling public.”

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union is still in dispute with Southern over changes to the role of conductors.

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