STRIKE action which has hit train services on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines has been suspended.

The RMT announced the move today following "positive discussions" with operator Northern.

Union members have been involved in a long-running dispute over the role of guards on trains.

Reduced services have operated on Saturdays as a result.

Northern welcomes the suspension of action, and a restarting of talks, but warns it will be unable to restore a full timetable by this weekend.

Managing director, David Brown, added: "We have been very clear that there will be a conductor on all our trains now and into the future.

"We are looking forward to further positive talks with the RMT about operational models, so that we can resolve the dispute.

"The suspension of the strike action is good news for customers and businesses.

"However, changing a strike timetable back to a normal one is a very complex task. Unfortunately it is too late for Northern to reintroduce a full timetable for this Saturday – we will run about 700 services, with few operating after 5pm. We advise customers to check before they travel.

"From February 16, we are pleased to confirm that we will be running a full Saturday timetable."

The RMT said "substantial progress" in talks held through ACAS had allowed the union’s executive to suspend the programme of strikes.

General Secretary Mick Cash added: "I want to pay tribute to RMT members on Northern Rail whose resilience and determination though two years and 47 days of action has been the foundation on which this major breakthrough has been based. They are an absolute credit to both this union and the wider movement.

"I also want to thank the travelling public for its extraordinary support.

"Today's offer of a guarantee of a conductor on all services throughout the duration of the franchise, including the new fleet, is the substantial progress we have been pushing for."