Southern Rail bosses announced the franchise will aim to run most of its trains next week when Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union guards stage their next strike.

The franchise said it expected to run close to a normal service when RMT union members stage a 24-hour walkout over safety concerns on Monday, March 13.

Southern added it ran nine out of 10 trains with more than 50 per cent of on-board staff reporting for work during the union’s pervious strike on Wednesday, February 22

The walkout will be the 30th day the transport union will have taken industrial action over concerns that driver-only-operated trains would not be safe as only one person would oversee all operations.

Southern have denied the claims. 

A Southern spokeswoman said: “We're aiming to run as full a service as possible next Monday for our passengers.

"We've made it clear to the RMT that we won't meet with them whilst they persist with wholly unnecessary industrial action."

In response Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said the company were ‘spinning lies’ about the impact of the action.

He said: “Instead of spinning fantasies about the continuing impact of the guards’ action on Southern Rail the company should be round the table with the union looking for a solution that protects safe operation and which underpins the guard guarantee on the Southern services.

“RMT repeats again today the call for genuine and serious talks that cut through the barrage of spin and hype from the company and which set for a framework for a safe and sustainable solution to Britain’s longest-running industrial dispute.”