Northern has responded to the RMT after the union expressed its intention to ballot Northern conductors who are members of the RMT.

A spokesman said: "We are in the early stages of developing our modernisation plans to bring customers a better railway, so we believe the RMT is extremely premature in calling a ballot for strikes. 

"During our discussions this week we offered commitments to consult fully with our people, customers and key stakeholders. We want to protect jobs and pay as we work together to provide safe, secure and accessible services for our customers.

"We want to continue talking with the RMT."