JUST over a week after commuters on the Tyne Valley railway line faced a day of disruption to rail services, the union RMT has announced plans for further strike action.

The industrial action, scheduled for Saturday, April 8, is part of the long-running dispute between the union and Northern Rail over driver only operated (DOO) trains.

The union says the company has still failed to give clear guarantees on the future safety-critical role of their guards and members will now strike for 24 hours between 00:01 and 23:59.

In addition, the union is said to be targeting politicians across the area served by Arriva Rail North (which operates as Northern Rail) aimed at maximising political and public support for RMT's fight for a guaranteed guard on the company's services.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "The continuing refusal of the company to give a simple, lasting guarantee that protects the safety-critical role of the guard on their trains leaves RMT with no option but to announce this further day of strike action. The date we have announced gives Arriva Rail North ample time to get round the table with us and negotiate a settlement that puts passenger safety right at its core."

Northern Rail is reassuring customers that they have contingency plans in place to cope with the disruption "if strike action goes ahead".

A company spokesman said: "We have been clear that we want RMT, along with our people, our customers and stakeholders, to play a role in bringing our modernisation plans to life.

"We want to work with everyone on how we modernise the way we provide customer service and continue to run a safe and reliable railway."