RAIL workers are to launch a fresh wave of strikes in a long-running dispute over and driver-only trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Southern will walk out on Friday September 1 and Monday September 4.

The union accused the company and the Government of pressing ahead with controversial plans to extend driver-only operation.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT is bitterly disappointed that Southern Rail have rejected our call for round-table discussions involving all parties with an interest in resolving this dispute.

"The failure to get those talks moving following our face-to-face meeting with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has left us no option but to call further action.

"RMT pays tribute to our Southern Rail guards and drivers who have stood firm for well over a year in the fight for rail safety despite outrageous abuse and intimidation from the company.

"They are a credit to their communities and to the whole trade union movement.

"RMT has a clear plan for resolving this dispute but that requires round-table talks now to push forwards."