More London train delays as commuters return to work; Soho hotspot Madame JoJo’s to reopen

It’s a bleak start to the year for London’s commuters travelling in on South Western Rail networks as more delays are to continue due to lack of staff. The guards who took part in the 27-day strike have been off duty for so long that they need to retrain for safety requirements. This put hundreds of trains out of action on Thursday and delays will continue into Friday. The Evening Standard’s City Hall editor Ross Lydall joins The Leader podcast to explain what we could expect over the next few months - as well as some good news for companions of disabled passengers from London's mayor Sadiq Khan.

Also, London's most well-known burlesque nightclub and gig venue Madame JoJo's which shut down in 2014 is going to reopen, the Standard's Arts Correspondent Rob Dex joins the Leader podcast.


David Marsland  

Happy New Year and thanks for coming back to The Leader. We have a lot planned for the next few weeks, so make sure you subscribe through your favorite podcast provider and don't miss out. Now for the first time in 2020, from the Evening Standard in London, this is The Leader...

Hi, I'm David Marsland. The RMT South Western Railway strike is over, but some of the guards have been off for so long they need retrained,

Ross Lydall  

You wouldn't be happy to be coming back to work on a sort of chilly January first day back in the office. You're paying more for your travel and then you're standing on the platform waiting for the train to come and it doesn't come and you just think they just can't get any more ludicrous. 

David Marsland  

Our City Hall editor Ross Lydall on a miserable return to work for thousands and the fares have gone up too. Also, 

Robert Dex  

it'll be a bit of living history in a part of London that quite frankly is a bit careless with its history and is forever knocking things down and starting again

David Marsland  

Arts Correspondent Robert Dex on the resurrection of Madame JoJo's. We welcome the return of a Soho icon.

Taken from the Evening Standard editorial column This is The Leader for the whole thing pick up the newspaper or head to In a moment the train debacle that's too serious to be a farce.

The day had barely began at London Bridge station when the delay announcement started, a pretty miserable return to work for train commuters only made worse by this morning's average fare rise of 2.7%. That's a justified hike according to Robert Nesbitt from the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies 

Robert Nesbitt  

We're an industry like any other that's facing rising costs the staff bill, for example, but also fuel costs as well. What we want to do is we want to cover the day to day running costs of the railway to free up billions of pounds of investment for the public and private sector. But this is an average figure. It's still just below the rate of inflation and that's for the third year running.

David Marsland  

But for some passengers using Southwestern Railways, the increased prices were compounded by cancellations, the aftershock of a 27 day strike by the RMT union, and our editorial column can't quite believe it.

ES Comment  

The reason for the latest cancellations is the guards who inflicted the strike have been off duty for so long they need to be retrained to ensure that they are properly refreshed in terms of all necessary safety activities, the same applies to some drivers. the situation would be farcical if it were not so serious. It is yet another reminder of the damage caused by the union's...

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