RAIL passengers are reminded to plan ahead for disruption as another RMT strike day looms.

January marks the sixth month of consecutive Saturday strikes, with tomorrow the 44th day of industrial action taken in the long-running dispute with Northern over guards on trains.

Services will be reduced between Carlisle and Newcastle, Carlisle and Settle and along the Cumbrian coast, with very few running after 5pm. Those that do run and other operators' services are expected to be very busy.

Northern has called on the union to suspend its strike action and accept an independent ACAS inquiry. Managing director David Brown said there was no reason for it to continue after the Department for Transport and Transport for the North confirmed a second person would be retained on Northern services.

Craig Johnston, of the RMT, said the strikes will continue throughout January and then there will be a review. He said: "We can't get a settlement because Northern is carrying out the franchise specifications for the Government, who we now have found out have paid some £31 to £33m extra into their franchise - that's British tax payers money into the German state railways to subsidise them while these strikes are going on."