Last minute talks between unions and Network Rail are to be held on Monday to hopefully avert the planned strikes on 6th-9th April. If the strikes do go ahead the unions warn that the rail network will effectively be “shut down”.

Union leaders have drawn up a proposal for Network Rail which they believe can avoid the 1,500 planned job losses and will present this in the talks on Monday. Network Rail are rumoured to be putting forward an offer of lump sum pay-outs to maintenance workers if they accept the altered working conditions and cancel the strike at tomorrow’s meeting. However, Network Rail have also not ruled out taking legal action to cancel the strike.

If the strike goes ahead, Flybe have announced that they will increase its domestic flights where possible to help minimise disruption.

The airline’s chief commercial officer Mike Rutter said: “In order to give the many passengers whose travel plans will be disrupted yet again by strike action, Flybe will increase frequency and availability wherever needed to meet the expected demand over what is one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

“We are in a better position than any other airline to offer such increased frequency with our extensive regional UK network offering a choice of key routes from 38 UK airports.”