17/01/2017 South Today


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Hello and welcome to South Today, I'm Jo Kent.


The top stories tonight: Venting their frustration with flowers.


A peaceful protest from Southern Rail passengers but there's


a glimmer of hope as driver strikes are suspended.


An inquest finds a Sussex soldier was killed in friendly fire


in Afghanistan because his comrade didn't take enough care.


And heading for a nail-biting finish.


Can sailor Alex Thompson succeed in his ambition to win


There've been a few glimmers of hope for long-suffering Southern rail


passengers today ? a three-day strike next week by Aslef


The company's accepted the union's offer of talks at the TUC.


It's also been revealed that season ticket holders may be


able to get compensation through their credit cards.


Roger Finn's at Chichester Station with the latest.


Another day of delays and cancellations but


some good news too - fresh talks between Southern and Aslef.


And this time, they'll be chaired not by Acas but jointly by the TUC


As a result, Aslef's called off strikes planned for Tuesday,


A little boost for passengers who need it badly.


To no-one's surprise, today it was revealed that Southern


has been ranked lowest of all train companies in the annual survey


of customer satisfaction by the consumer organisation Which?


Nearly half Southern's passengers said their last journey was delayed.


Today commuters turned the tables on the company


with their own protest - flowers were laid at stations


The idea is to mourn and pay tribute to what used to be a decent service.


People are laying flowers and notes to the powers that be,


so people have got an opportunity to express their anger


at the situation, so that's been a success.


One other Southern passenger managed to persuade his credit card company


to give back half the cost of his season ticket on the grounds


that Southern rail had failed to deliver the service it promised.


Experts believe that could start a trend.


If a few companies are starting to pay out credit cardholders,


and we have one case, well, then it becomes standard


industry practice and, even if you own a credit card


company rejects you, you can then go to the ombudsman


and it may well say, others have done it because of


Southern rail's dire service, you are entitled to some


season-ticket money back, you are also going to be paid out.


But for those simply hoping the commuting nightmare will end,


I haven't got a massive amount of hope, I guess,


because I've lost faith in the fact that anything will ever be resolved.


What people don't realise is that, when the strikes stop


being in the news, we just go back to the delays that we've always had.


One sign of the passions the disruption's causing -


at Bognor Station yesterday, just down the line from Chichester


here, a passenger went into a train cab and abused the driver.


Apparently, he swore at the driver and demanded to know why


A union official described it as a serious breach of safety


and said the driver was so upset, he decided not to attempt to drive


Well, earlier, I spoke to our transport correspondent,


Paul Clifton, and asked him whether commuters should be


Just last week, the head of the drivers' union said the two


sides weren't so much on different planets as occupying


So let's be clear - we are a long way from a deal.


But Aslef, the company and the government are all making


Maybe this time really will be different.


The difficulty is this - a dispute about the safety merits


of some specific aspects of Driver-Only Operation on Southern


routes has been masked by the wider political battle.


The government and the union have each invested too much political


Neither can afford to be perceived in public as the loser.


But next week's Aslef strikes are suspended.


The overtime ban, which has caused the cancellation of one


in four services every day, is suspended too.


The RMT union, which represents conductors, has asked


But for now, its separate strike next Monday is still on.


So, for passengers, this is the most encouraging day in a long time.


But let me repeat - we have been here before.


A 22-year-old soldier from Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex


lost his life in Afghanistan because a comrade did not take


sufficient care and fired in the wrong direction.


That's the conclusion of an inquest into the death


of Lance Corporal James Brynin, who was killed in a so-called


Lance Corporal James Brynin was described as an outstanding


His death in Afghanistan came though not at the hands of the Taliban


but instead a careless comrade - Lance Corporal Mark Kelly shooting


James dead after firing in the wrong direction


The coroner said today there was insufficient evidence


to return a conclusion of unlawful killing to the obvious


Whilst we are very upset and disappointed at having waited


so long for this lengthy process to conclude, and no charges


or punishment and no genuine guilt has been acknowledged by the MoD


or Lance Corporal Kelly, it is and has always


been our opinion that Kelly knew what he had done within moments


of firing the round that killed our son, James.


Rather than acknowledging he did wrong, he instead


The simple facts remain that his errors led directly


He has and will for ever have James's blood on his hands. He was a


highly talented and professional soldier, our thoughts are with his


family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. He has


made the ultimate sacrifice and we must never forget him. Today his


family are having to come to terms with the coroner's conclusion that


James died at the hands of a colleague who became disoriented in


a firefight and did not take enough care.


A van driver who was texting at the wheel when he hit and killed


a cyclist has lost his appeal to have his sentence reduced.


Lee Martin was taking part in a cycling event when he was hit


by Christopher Gard's van on the A31 near Bentley in Hampshire


Gard was jailed for nine years for causing death


He had seven previous convictions for using a mobile


It's sailing's toughest race and the Gosport sailor Alex Thompson


is tonight edging closer to his Vendee Globe dream.


Thompson is aiming to be the first British winner of the single-handed


non-stop round-the-world race and is still closing the gap


on the leader with less than 48 hours to go.


The 73rd day of racing and the Alex Thompson, there could be barely two


more to go. The pair are heading for the finish line on the French coast.


Thompson is currently moving more quickly at 15 knots. He is gaining


on the Paul Lawrie race favourite with every update. A week ago, it


was more than 200 miles. It has been predicted the finish will be very


close. A view shared by the man who was the first to sail around the


globe nonstop single-handed. His performance so far in this race has


been really incredible. The speeds he has been achieving, just


phenomenal. He has gone five times faster than I did 48 years ago. It


is just remarkable. Taking the right course, judging the weather


patterns, this race for the line could still be at the mercy of the


nation. The 2-mac readers will have a say in weather conditions. 10-15


knots in the South East and the winds will become light. The winds


will switch direction to a North westerly airflow, dragging in


bitterly cold air, and the air, with a high-pressure, will become very


unstable. Irregular wind directions and speed. At the hands like this,


there is still a good chance. He can still pull it off, which would be


phenomenal. Organisers now believe the first boat to arrive on Thursday


morning. If previous finishes to be repeated, the scenes could be


special. But will be the British special. But will be the British


flag flying high in France? Alex Thompson has closed the gap


further. For some of us, a frost, for others, a good deal of cloud. A


cold night for many places. More cloud the further north and west you


are. The frost will develop down to the south and east and towards the


south coast. Temperatures even in towns and cities could drop the


freezing waters below. Cold, frosty and a misty start the day tomorrow.


There is that North West, South East are split. The best of the sunshine


down towards the south coast and Southeast and for the Isle of Wight.


Temperatures will struggle to rise to a high of 3-5 Celsius. Through


the cause of tomorrow night, the cloud will pick even further. We may


have low cloud, Mr Fog patches and places. High pressure will dominate


our weather. A misty and murky start. Most places will stay dry.


Thursday is a very similar data Friday. A fair amount of cloud, a


lot of dry weather but on Friday, outbreaks of light rain and drizzle


during the middle part of the day. Over the next few days, the winds


will be fairly light but coming in from the north-east, dragging in the


cooler air. from time to time. Staying settled


still. Nick has the national forecast this evening.


Hello. If you are watching the football earlier it turned out to be


an evening for football fans in Lincolnshire. This is how it looked


at the start of the day. No idea whether this weather watcher is a


football fan, it's a fan of weather that matters here. All sorts of


weather, from 13 in Aberdeenshire to two, despite the sunshine in Kent. I


wonder if this six in the cloud across the Midlands into northern


England and parts of Wales felt colder, particularly in these misty


and foggy conditions in this weather watcher view. Some drizzly rain


around at times still from the thicker cloud into parts of England


and Wales overnight, hill fog too. Cloud for Scotland and Northern


Ireland, although a few breaks in eastern Scotland and close to


freezing, but the coldest


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