BREAKING: Planned railway strikes cancelled – for now

Train strikes that have lasted more than a year may be on the brink of coming to an end this weekend after a rail union announced it planned to suspend industrial action.

A 38th strike day on Northern Rail, scheduled for Saturday, will be cancelled so long as guarantees of two members of staff on trains are met by the company.

The dispute has disrupted both passengers and northern businesses, but now The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport has promised to suspend action providing Northern Rail agrees to increase staffing on trains for safety purposes.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “I want to pay tribute to the RMT members and our supporters from the ‎travelling public whose solidarity and determination have been instrumental in getting the focus of the dispute back on to the guarantee of a second person on the train.”

RMT has asked for a 100% guarantee that all trains will have a second member of staff on board, and that the second member of staff will be designated safety duties.

If these demands are not met by noon on Friday the strikes may yet go ahead.

The Department for Transport and Transport for North, which jointly manage Northern Rail, have committed to retaining a second member of staff on Northern services.

David Brown, managing director at Northern Rail, said: “It’s welcome news that the Government has confirmed that a second person will be retained on board our trains.

“I look forward to RMT suspending their December strikes, and accepting my long-standing invitation to get back round the table at ACAS to resolve their dispute.”

Updates to follow.