RAIL services between Worcester and Birmingham are set to be disrupted this weekend by industrial action.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers are striking because they say West Midland Trains is planning to introduce driver-only services.

If the strike goes ahead, which seemed almost certain as the Worcester News went to press, there are likely to be no train services between Hereford, Worcester and Birmingham New Street or Snow Hill in either direction from 1am until 11.59pm tomorrow.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT has been left with no choice but to call strike action on West Midlands Trains in the face of the company’s refusal to pull back from their threat to bulldoze through Driver Only Operation and their attack on the safety critical role of the guard at the platform/train interface."

But the company says it has no such plans and that the strike is not necessary.

West Midlands Trains is advising customers to plan ahead and check their journeys ahead of time and again just before they travel, as train times may change at last minute on the day.

They also advise: "Leave more time for journeys. Other train companies are due to run a normal service but will be busier than usual. Don’t aim for the last train home: get there early and be prepared to queue.

"Consider your options: If you no longer wish to travel on Saturday, we’re happy to refund your ticket, or allow you to travel on the Friday before or the Sunday/Monday afterwards."

A West Midlands spokesman said: "We are very disappointed that Saturday’s action by the RMT is going ahead. A strike benefits nobody and will inconvenience businesses and rail users.