INDUSTRIAL action on West Midlands Trains has been suspended by the rail union after it received a new offer.

After several weeks of dispute, West Midlands Trains and The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have created a settlement agreement covering the role of guards on the new trains.

There had been concerns over safety if the company, which operates services between Worcester and Birmingham New Street, had introduced driver-only operated trains.

This will now be subject to a workforce referendum, and in the meantime, the remaining strikes have been called off.

A spokesman from West Midlands Trains said: “Both sides have worked hard on our shared vision to keep a conductor on every passenger train with safety critical duties.”

In a statement, RMT union general secretary Mick Cash said: “Due to the receipt of an improved offer on the future role of the guard on West Midlands Trains, all action, including this Saturday, has been suspended and we will be holding a referendum vote with a recommendation to accept the deal.

“I want to pay tribute to the RMT members whose resilience and solidarity has got us to the point where we can suspend action with those same members having the final say.”

The first rail strike was held on November 16 and were expected to continue every Saturday in the run up to Christmas.

Worcester Trades Union Council was backing the rail strike after it was announced that West Midlands Trains wanted to introduce a driver-only operation, which would mean there would be no guards or conductors on services.

West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades.

This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.