We must ‘work as a family’ with unions to avoid rail strikes, says new transport secretary

“What I want to do is make sure everyone is doing their best and genuinely trying to find a solution. It’s really important, it’s important to make offers when they are realistic for their members,” she added.

“But I really told everyone my door was open – it’s a holistic family.

“We need a solution to make our rail systems work well so that we can invest, so that I can have credibility and go to the Treasury and say ‘I want to do more, that there is a credible position that says everyone in the rail industry works together. Yes. It’s worth your investment, it helps us achieve more”.

Commuters faced a rail fare increase of 12.3 per cent next year, based on RPI inflation in July under the government’s normal formula, but ministers said they would not increase as much .

Ms Trevelyan refused to be drawn to their level of decline, saying only: ‘We will continue to focus on everything we do as the Prime Minister has pledged to ease cost of living challenges where we we can.”

His more conciliatory approach was welcomed by the RMT. Union general secretary Mick Lynch called their recent meeting “a good meeting with a positive attitude”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who clashed with his predecessor Grant Shapps over funding Transport for London, said he was “incredibly impressed” with her.

Rail passengers are urged to travel only if necessary on Saturday due to the latest walkout which will see no trains between London and a number of cities including Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, where the Tories’ annual conference begins on Sunday, with another strike to coincide with its conclusion on Wednesday.

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