"It’s extremely disappointing that despite having a date in the diary for what we hoped would be constructive talks held in good faith, the RMT union has somewhat cynically decided to call further disruptive strike action, inflicting misery on our customers and colleagues.
“Only today, we met with union representatives for the fourth day of talks in the last ten days and were due to meet the General Secretary of the RMT the very day before these strikes have now been announced for. We are struggling to comprehend what this endless strike action is really all about. The RMT seems intent on ploughing on full steam ahead with more strikes, showing little regard for our customers or the communities we serve.
“The RMT has always said it wanted us to keep the guard on every train which is what we have offered as part of a framework agreement. We want to move the conversation on to how we operate our new trains and take advantage of the new technology on board to benefit our customers. We remain committed to finding a solution that will help us build a better railway for everyone. We will do everything we can to keep customers moving during strike action"