1. ITV Report

Last-ditch talks in bid to avert rail strikes

Last-ditch talks aimed at averting some of the strikes planned on the railways next week will be held today.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said it will be meeting senior managers from Arriva Rail North, among others, to try to find a solution to the long-running dispute over the role of guards.

A series of strikes is due to be held next week with workers at Arriva which runs trains in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire also expected to be involved.

"RMT will enter the talks with South Western Railway and Arriva Rail in good faith and seeking an agreement which guarantees a guard on their trains and protects the safety, security and access of the travelling public.

"If we can secure that kind of agreement in Scotland and Wales there is no reason at all why we can't do the same in England.

"The union is angry and frustrated that our efforts to get talks back under way with Southern over 20 months into our dispute with the company have been kicked back in our faces when it looked like we were making some progress. "RMT will continue to press all of the rail companies for genuine and meaningful talks in each of the separate disputes over safety and the role of the guard."

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary