A STRIKE over driver-only operation is set to go ahead on Merseyrail, after a court challenge to stop it failed.
The RMT has called a walkout for 13 March in opposition to plans for the region's new trains to run without traditional conductors.
Merseyrail is a devolved franchise, owned by Abellio and Serco, which is controlled by Merseytravel PTE.
The operator said: “Our challenge through the High Court to stop the RMT strike action on our network has not been successful. This means that the strike on Monday 13 March will go ahead.
“We argued that the decision to order a new train which would operate without traditional guards, was taken by council leaders and councillors in December 2016 and that Merseyrail had no choice but to implement these plans, and could therefore not provide the guarantees the RMT has been looking for.
“We are doing all we can to provide a service on Monday which will be as comprehensive as possible, under the circumstances.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash has welcomed the decision: “This is an important victory for the union. However, it is frankly ludicrous that Merseyrail have been wasting important time and money on bogus legal challenges this week when they should have been sat round the table with the union negotiating a safe and sustainable settlement to this dispute which gives the travelling public the guarantee of a guard on their trains. The strike action goes ahead,” he said.
The new fleet has been ordered from Stadler, and should be in service within three years.