RAIL users on the Tyne Valley are set to be hit by yet another day of disruption as the RMT confirmed that the 43rd day of strike action on Northern rail services would go ahead this Saturday.

Northern will be running a reduced service as a result of the action, with very few trains running after 5pm. 

The strike is part of a long running dispute between the rail union and Northern over the role of guards on trains, with the RMT also criticising a rise in fares from the start of the new year. 

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT Northern members will be striking again tomorrow in the long-running fight to put public safety before private profit as the company jack up their fares and refuse to lift the axe from above the heads of their safety critical guards.

"RMT continues to make every effort to get serious and meaningful talks going with Northern.

"It is nothing short of a scandal that Northern passengers are paying some of the highest fares in Europe, travelling on unreliable and rammed out trains, to subsidise the domestic operations of the German parent company.

"That is why our members will be standing solid again tomorrow for the 43rd day in support of a safe and accessible railway for all.

"We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks."

Last month, Northern asked the employment arbitration service ACAS to intervene in its two-year dispute with the RMT, but the deadlock has continued. 

David Brown, managing director at Northern, said: "More than 50% of all rail journeys in the UK are made on driver-controlled trains and recently the Department for Transport and Transport for the North publicly confirmed that a second person – in addition to the driver – would be retained on Northern services.

"This second person will provide customer service, including meeting customer needs on accessibility, safety, security, ticketing and information.

"Therefore, there is no reason for the RMT to continue its disruptive and economically damaging strikes.

"We expect all of our service on Saturdays in January to be extremely busy and are calling on our customers to plan their travel carefully for the coming weekend." 

Full details of the strike timetable can be found at www.northernrailway.co.uk/strike.