Richard Allan, deputy managing director of Arriva Rail North, said: “We are surprised that RMT has announced strike action for Saturday 8 April as we had been in contact with their officials in the last 24 hours to organise further talks. 

“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.”