Southern rail commuters will be relieved after the RMT union announced it would suspended its planned strike action tomorrow (11 August) and Friday in reaction to peace talks being tabled with franchise operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).

The parties will meet mitigation service Acas tomorrow in a bid to resolve the dispute over the future role of guards on the network.

"We are encouraged that the RMT has accepted our offer to resume talks at Acas and has agreed to call off its strike action," a spokesperson for Southern said.

"For our passengers sake we truly hope these talks will be productive and bring this long-running dispute to an end.

"At present, the strike timetable is still in the industry train planning systems for Thursday and Friday.

"Regrettably, this means tomorrow's service will be based upon the present strike timetable but we will do our very best to add services in and extend the hours of operation wherever possible. On Friday, we plan to revert to the revised timetable operating before the strike."

The development comes after RMT members protested outside of the Department for Transport this morning, accusing the government of "sabotaging" previous negotiations between the parties.

Southern guards had staged strikes on Monday and Tuesday and will continue their industrial action today. Tens of thousands of commuters have been affected by the walkouts, with Prime Minister Theresa May condemning the strike.

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