Peace talks between the RMT and Southern rail bosses have produced a breakthrough after the union announced it has suspended strike action involving station staff scheduled for next Wednesday (7 September).

The decision comes after the parties held talks at mitigation service Acas yesterday as part of a ticket office dispute, with the union warning of job losses.

"It is a testament to the solidarity and determination of our station staff members on Govia Thameslink that we have been able to achieve significant progress in the talks at Acas that have enabled us to suspend next week's action," said Mick Cash, the general secretary of the RMT.

"The leverage from the vote for strike action has been pivotal in securing the package of measures that will protect jobs, safety and the services we deliver to the travelling public."

But a planned walkout from RMT members over the future role of rail guards is still going ahead on 7 and 8 September. The union is unhappy with Southern's plan to let drivers close train doors in conjunction with CCTV.

Cash added: "The union will be focusing all of its efforts on supporting this safety-critical group of members as they continue to fight for safe, secure and accessible services for all."

The development follows the news that the Department for Transport is to give Southern £20m ($26.5m) to recruit more staff and replace tracks in a bid to help the franchise back on course after months of delays and disruption.

"We welcome the benefits this £20m improvement package will bring for passengers, tackling some of the key infrastructure challenges on the network," said Charles Horton, the chief executive of Govia Thameslink.

"Network Rail and Southern will continue to work closely together to ensure this investment delivers real, tangible benefits for our passengers and the new project board will ensure the programme is effectively delivered.

This investment complements our existing programme of improvements which is bringing in new trains and changing working practices to improve customer service."