Another rail strike has been announced for next month, continuing the wave of industrial action sweeping the country.
More than 40,000 workers from Network Rail and 15 train operating companies will strike on 8 October in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions, the Rail, Marititime and Transport (RMT) union has announced.
Rail strikes are already planned on 1 and 5 October, threatening fresh travel chaos for passengers.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said it was encouraging the new transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP had met with the union – but that the industrial action would continue “for as long as it takes”.
He said: “We welcome this more positive approach from the government to engage with us as a first step to finding a suitable settlement.
“However, as no new offer has been tabled, our members have no choice but to continue this strike action.
“We will continue to negotiate in good faith, but the employers and government need to understand our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes,” he said.
The RMT has vowed to “bring the railway to an effective standstill” on Saturday 1 October – before the Conservative Party conference opens in Birmingham and the eve of London Marathon.
The second date, 5 October, is the day the Tory conference ends.
Additional reporting by Press Association