WEST Midlands Trains has rebutted allegations that it is planning to introduce driver-only trains.

In yesterday's Worcester News, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers alleged the trail company was making such a move, as a justification for strike action due to start on Saturday.

But a spokesperson for West Midlands Trains said: "We are very disappointed that Saturday’s action by the RMT is going ahead. A strike benefits nobody and will inconvenience businesses and thousands of local rail users.

“There is no need for this action, we have never proposed driver only operation. We are committed to keeping a safety-critical conductor on every passenger train.

"In recent days, we proposed a solution which meets the latest demands from RMT, in respect of our new trains when they are delivered.

"The solution means conductors retain responsibility for safe train despatch from stations.

“We remain determined to find a way of resolving this dispute without further disruption and inconvenience for our passengers.

"We are running a reduced service on Saturday using managers who have guard competency. Passengers are advised to check their journey carefully before leaving home."

If the strikes go ahead, there will be no train service between Hereford, Worcester and Birmingham New Street or Snow Hill in either direction from 1am until 11.59pm on November 16, November 23, November 30, December 7, December 14, December 21 and December 28.

The strikes come amid widespread dissatisfaction with the rail service providers, with commuters regularly complaining of too few carriages leading to overcrowding on services which link Worcestershire and the West Midlands.