Sussex

Aslef drops legal action and accepts 12-car Gatwick trains

New Gatwick Express train Image copyright Gatwick Express
Image caption New 12-car trains are due to make up 50% of all Gatwick Express services by June

The Aslef train drivers' union has dropped its fight against longer trains on Gatwick Express.

It has agreed to not call any further industrial action in protest at the introduction of 12-carriage driver-only operated (DOO) rolling stock.

The High Court previously barred Aslef from inducing Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) drivers to take industrial action after a flawed strike ballot.

The union must now pay £250,000 legal costs.

Aslef said it accepts "GTR is contractually entitled to require drivers employed on the Gatwick Express services to drive 12 car DOO".

It had argued the new trains were less safe.

Image copyright Govia Thameslink Railway
Image caption The new trains replace 30-year-old stock

A GTR spokesman said: "We are pleased this matter has been concluded.

"It supports the continued introduction of our new 12-carriage Gatwick Express trains."

GTR said passengers would benefit from better luggage space, air-conditioning, wi-fi and information systems.

The company is involved in a prolonged separate dispute with the RMT union over the role of conductors and DOO services.

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