A planned national rail strike which would have disrupted services on bank holiday Monday and back-to-work Tuesday has been called off.
Leaders of two unions called off their planned 24-hour walk-out from 5pm Monday after they received a new offer from Network Rail in their dispute over pay.
Train services will be back to their usual timetables, averting transport chaos. Rail operators had begun cancelling services but now have withdrawn their advice to passengers not to travel. However, maintenance will still affect some routes.
Leaders of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) will now consult with members over the new offer, made after the rejection of a proposed four-year pay deal.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Following the Acas talks, RMT has received a revised offer that enables us to suspend the planned industrial action while we consult in full with our Network Rail representatives.”
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA, said: “Our negotiating team at Acas has received a revised offer from Network Rail. As a result of this, they have suspended the planned industrial action, pending the outcome of a meeting of our workplace representatives next week.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Passengers right across the country will welcome this news and the knowledge that the extensive disruption threatening the Bank Holiday and the return to work on Tuesday has been averted.
“The Government has been working closely with transport operators, Highways England and local government on preparations to help manage the impact a national rail strike would have had on the network. We all welcome this news.”
It would have been the first national rail strike for 20 years.