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The RMT has agreed today to suspend its proposed industrial action amongst Southern engineers following successful pay talks.

During the forthcoming pay talks, Southern (with the agreement of GTR) will make an offer which will include a reduction in the working week, in a phased way, to a 37 hour week by May 2017 as part of a multi-year deal to be negotiated with GTR.

Southern said that they recognise that the hard work and commitment of their engineering staff has contributed towards the efficient operation of the company over the life of the franchise and any pay offer will be fully cognisant of this fact.

In recognition of this the RMT has agreed to suspend the current dispute.

(This article is has replaced the previous strike announcement we covered earlier)

E-cigarettes have split opinions across the UK and Southern Rail will introduce a ban across all services as well as at stations. From the 26th of July, passengers will not be able to use the devices on trains or on stations that are operated by the company.

The operator runs the Gatwick Express service and so it brings these companies and other firms in line with the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise. Overall, Southern manages 156 stations in London, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. Its passengers make an average of 446,500 journeys per day on the trains, the firm stated.

Other businesses have already banned e-cigarettes and this includes Thameslink and Great Northern as well as Transport for London.

Not only are transportation services banning e-cigarettes, but also people will be banned from using the devices in enclosed spaces in Wales. This includes restaurants, pubs, taxis, lorries and at work and is likely to come into effect during 2017. This plan has divided opinions between health and medical groups, which includes some anti-smoking campaigners.

A grand total of 2.6 million adults use e-cigarettes in Britain and so the new laws in Wales as well as the ban of them on rail services is bound to cause controversy.