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21 February: news in brief

Network Rail issues weather warning for north west

MORE wet weather is forecast in the North West and Cumbria this weekend, and Network Rail is advising passengers to check before they travel. Heavy rain has already caused flooding in several places on the West Coast and Cumbrian Coast Lines, and Storms Ciara and Dennis have left the ground saturated. Network Rail said its specialist weather forecasters are monitoring the network ‘extremely closely’ in a bid to keep trains running, and also so that frontline teams can respond to any incidents without delay. North West Route managing director Phil James added: ‘It’s been a real challenge battling the elements in recent weeks, so we have to take the threat of more heavy rain really seriously, with extra teams on standby to deal with any incidents. Sometimes that means temporary speed limits, and while I appreciate that journeys taking longer than expected can be frustrating, our number one priority has to be keeping passengers and our staff safe.’

Bakerloo Line strikes to cause disruption

LONDON UNDERGROUND passengers have been urged to avoid the Bakerloo Line until Tuesday, because the RMT is staging two 24-hour strikes. The first of the walkouts is due to start from midday today, and the second will begin at 12.00 on Sunday. TfL said: ‘There is likely to be little or no service until Monday late afternoon, with delays to any service that is operating. We expect to be running a service from around 16:00 on Saturday to around 14:00 on Sunday.’ The walkouts have been caused by a dispute over new timetables. The RMT has branded the changes as ‘unworkable’, and claimed they would place ‘intolerable stress and pressure’ on drivers. Nick Dent, who is LU’s director of line operations, said there was ’no need’ for the strike. He said there had been several meetings with the RMT to explain the steps we have taken to address their concerns’, and he also promised that a new timetable will be introduced next month.

Keolis opens Cardiff HQ

KEOLIS has opened its new United Kingdom HQ in Cardiff, having transferred to the Welsh capital from London. French-based Keolis, which is partly owned by SNCF, has a joint venture with Amey to operate the Wales & Border network on behalf of Transport for Wales. Keolis, which is also a 35 per cent stakeholder in Govia with the Go-Ahead Group, said revenue from its operations in Britain last year was more than £2.5 billion.

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