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Hopes of a settlement to a long-running rail dispute rose on Thursday after a gathering between Mick Lynch, common secretary of the RMT rail union, and transport secretary Mark Harper.

The RMT, the UK’s greatest rail union, on Tuesday introduced an additional time ban for its members at Community Rail and 14 prepare operators for the festive interval, in addition to two 48-hour work stoppages in December and an additional two such walkouts in January.

Lynch declined to name off these strikes after the assembly.

“It was a optimistic assembly, within the sense that we removed the bellicose nonsense we used to get from Grant Shapps,” Lynch mentioned, in reference to the previous transport secretary who refused to satisfy him.

In a gathering that he described as “constructive”, Harper mentioned he and Lynch held an “open and trustworthy dialog” concerning the “critical challenges going through the railways”.

“Now we have widespread floor — we each need the dispute to finish and we each need a thriving railway which delivers for passengers and employees alike,” Harper mentioned.

To attain that, nevertheless, all events wanted to work collectively, Harper added.

“There’s a deal to be executed, and I imagine we are going to get there,” he mentioned. “I wish to facilitate the RMT and the employers to succeed in an settlement and finish the dispute for the good thing about the travelling public.”

Harper on Thursday morning instructed the Home of Commons he would meet representatives of rail unions “within the coming days”.

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