Dispute ends ++ The white-collar TSSA union has accepted a two-year pay deal from 14 train operators in England, bringing the prospect of further strikes by more than 3,000 of its members to an end. The offer is worth a 5 per cent increase or a minimum increase of £1,750 whichever is the greater in year 1, and a further 4 per cent increase in year 2. Compulsory redundancies are ruled out until the end of next year, but the Voluntary Redundancy Scheme will continue. Although the dispute is over, the union said it will continue to oppose ticket office closures. The Rail Delivery Group said the settlement is a ‘positive breakthrough’, and the Department for Transport agreed, adding that the decision involved reforms which were ‘vital’ to get the railway ‘back on a financially sustainable footing’. However, the TSSA warned that it would ‘continue to hold the train companies and the government to account as we go forward because Britain needs a fully functioning rail network at the heart of our green industrial future, and as a means of rebuilding our economy in the wake of the Covid pandemic.’ Meanwhile, four more RMT walkouts still set to be staged on on 16, 18 and 30 March, and 1 April.
Metro vandalism ++ The first new train for Tyne & Wear Metro was daubed by graffiti vandals before it reached Tyneside. The unit has been built by Stadler in Switzerland, and arrived in Britain via the Channel Tunnel. Metro operator Nexus said the damage had been done somewhere in southern England, because the defaced train was seen passing through Peterborough on its way north. Nexus said: ‘This kind of pointless vandalism is sadly part of modern life,’ and that the graffiti would be removed at the new Gosforth depot.