A rail operator which serves much of Lancashire has urged passengers to check before they travel ahead of planned industrial action next week.

Northern services through East Lancashire will be impacted by RMT Union strikes on Thursday, March 16, and Saturday 18, in the long running row over pay and working conditions.

RMT members who work for Network Rail have called off their industrial action, but members working for train operators such as Northern are still planning to walk out.

An amended timetable will be in place on the two days, with some routes only operating a 12 hour service between 7am and 7pm.

Further strikes are also scheduled for March 30 and April 1, and look set to go ahead unless the unions and rail companies can reach an agreement.

Due to the impact of the strikes, services are also due to begin at a later time than normal on Friday, March 17, and Sunday 19, but once trains are up and running full timetables will be in place.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “We’re expecting the skeleton services we can run to be very busy – so customers should plan ahead and check before they travel.

“Given the reduced timetable only runs until 7pm, I’m very keen to stress that people should check their ‘last train home’ on those dates – so that customers don’t find themselves stranded at the wrong end of the line as a result of this action by the RMT.”

Services operated by Northern through East Lancashire include the York to Blackpool North line, which runs through Accrington, Burnley and Blackburn.

The Rail Delivery Group had invited the RMT for talks on Wednesday on the condition strikes were suspended, which the union declined, saying it will be “available for discussions and will attend any meetings on creating a resolution”.

The offer made to Network Rail has been put to members of the union to see if they will accept the improved offer.