London bus drivers stage strike, flood alerts issued, and train attackers jailed

Two thirds of London's buses not running today because of strike action by drivers.

Unite picket outside New Cross bus depot during 24 hour strike action. Image: Londonmultimedianews

News stories Tuesday 13th January 2015. 

  • 24-hour bus driver strike causes commuter delays
  • Report exposes violence at Feltham young offenders institution in west London
  • Flood alerts issued for London, with snow predicted across the UK
  • Three men responsible for baseball bat train assault are jailed

Bus strike

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London bus drivers are staging a 24-hour strike in an attempt to secure a single agreement for pay and conditions.

Buses have been affected all day, with only about one third of services running.

Members of the Unite union have walked out to protest the discrepancies in pay rates for drivers.

But London Mayor Boris Johnson has argued that the differences in pay make sense because there are ‘different working environments, different labour markets across the city.’

The lack of bus services has meant that commuters have been seeking other ways to travel to work.

This led to severe congestion and queues at tube stations this morning.

Brixton station was one of the worst-affected, as the additional travellers added to the delays already caused by refurbishment work.

Report exposes gang violence at young offenders’ institution

A report by prison inspectors on Feltham Young Offenders’ institution in west London has discovered a high level of gang-related violence.

The inspection found that staff at Feltham are constantly trying to keep boys apart, with inmates from 48 different gangs living in the institution.

Feltham A unit houses 240 boys, aged 15 to 18, about a quarter of whom are kept locked in their cell for 23 hours a day.

Although the number of fights and assaults has fallen since the last inspection, there were still 262 recorded in the six months leading up to the visit.

Incidents included 79 assaults on staff.

The head of the prison officers’ union said he fears one of his members being murdered if issues such as overcrowding and under-staffing are not dealt with.

Weather warnings 

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The Met Office has issued flood alerts for London and parts of the south-east and weather warnings for snow and ice in other parts of the country.

Heavy rain has been falling in London all day and there are chances of hail, sleet and thunder in the capital tonight.

There are currently 21 flood alerts in place for the southeast, meaning ‘flooding is possible’, and the Met Office has warned that travel disruption is likely.

You can check current flood warnings on the Met Office website.

Men jailed for train assault 

Three men who smashed up a train with a baseball bat and attacked a passenger have been given jail sentences at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Two of the men got into an argument with a fellow passenger on the train between Liverpool Street and Enfield in January last year, and the third man later boarded the service to meet them with baseball bats.

The three men then smashed the train windows and left their victim with serious injuries. They have been given jail sentences of between 35 and 40 months.

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